Osaka faces 'surreal' U.S. Open final against idol Serena

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But Osaka didn't crack a smile. Osaka has dreamed of playing Williams, the 17-seed, in the finals since she was a little girl. "This is just the beginning and I'm really excited about that". "Well, I hope I'm starting to play like her now".

The 2018 US Open final, Williams' second consecutive grand slam final, will take place on Saturday.

Osaka was also 1 year old when Serena Williams, her opponent Saturday, won her first Grand Slam (1998 US Open mixed doubles). I should still think of it as another match.

"No matter what happens in any match, I just feel like I've already won". But Osaka struggled from there. While she began the evening well enough in Arthur Ashe Stadium by turning in two error-free games for a quick 2-0 lead, that all soon changed.

Williams put her current level at only 50 or 60 per cent, and said: "I definitely don't feel myself yet".

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Stream every match at the US Open live on the FOX+ app and catch up on highlights of any action you've missed. "For a first-time semi-finalist on a big stage and all that, it was really impressive she held her nerve the entire time, never really had any kind of slip-up". "I forgot about it and moved on", she said. It will be a really good match. "I'm for sure going to watch it".

She's not alone in her complimentary words.

Williams will undoubtedly have the support of her home crowd but there will be no shortage of love for Osaka, who has won the admiration of New Yorkers over the last fortnight as much for her red-hot game as her cool-headed demeanor. If not the present. Recall that she beat Serena when they played earlier this year.

She later made her Grand Slam debut at the 2016 Australian Open and reached the third round of the 2016 French Open. She then, in flawless form, clarified that was, in fact, the "Pokemon" theme song, but insisted the intent was still true.

And she did it in just 66 minutes.

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Osaka's family relocated to the United States when she was three years old, eventually settling in Long Island, New York and later in Florida. But she was getting better.

For comparison: Williams went to the net on average eight times during the first five games of this tournament.

Osaka was born in Japan but left when she was three years old and raised in the United States. At Wimbledon she had six matches in her and, you sensed, simply didn't have the wattage for a seventh.

She has, and she'll be only one spot out of the top 10 in the rankings if she wins after barely reaching the top 500 in March.

Once Williams was in front, Sevastova said, there was no stopping her.

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