For 20-year-old Osaka, this was her first taste of a Grand Slam final but she stood up to powerhouse Williams, whose first-serve percentage dipped below 50, to break again two games later. But she has chosen to compete for the Japanese Tennis Association.
"I just usually come in only to shake hands but tonight I thought I'm playing such a good player, and I knew if I wanted to have a chance against Anastasija, I had to come in".
Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam after she defeated Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4.
The final will be played at 5.00am Japan time on Sunday and even if she fails to pull off a stunning victory, the Asahi newspaper believes Osaka's US Open run could hail the beginning of a generational shift in women's tennis. "Because I'm a woman, you're going to take this away from me?" she yelled at tournament officials. Starting out with a confident hold of serve, Williams lost five straight games to start the match as Osaka settled in with strong serves and grounstrokes.
"I just tried to think that I've never been in this situation before, [and] I'm just really happy to be here".
Justin Lane ShutterstockNaomi Osaka didn't quite have the glow of a first-time major champion while hoisting the US Open trophy
Williams then called for the tournament referee, remonstrating in tears, saying "this is not fair, this has happened to me too many times".
Apart from the emotions around her comeback, a win today will help her equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
Williams' first Grand Slam title came in 1999 at the U.S. Open.
"Honestly", she said, "it is remarkable".
Brooke Marine of W Magazine wrote of the Osaka sisters, "Now, the Osaka sisters follow in the footsteps of Venus and Serena Williams, as two young sisters who are making waves in the field of professional tennis, and crushing their competition both on the court and on social media". I feel that there is no value either way at current market prices and in my opinion, the best strategy will be to wait for potential entry points in-play.
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