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Serena, Osaka in US Open final

NEW YORK (Sky Sports) –  Serena Williams will play Naomi Osaka in the US Open tennis final today after they came through Thursday’s semi-finals.

Six-time champion Williams cruised past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-0 before Osaka made her first Grand Slam final by beating last year’s runner-up Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4.

Victory for Williams over Osaka in today’s final will equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

Williams (36) became a mother last year after suffering life-threatening blood clots during her pregnancy, and said post-match on Thursday: “To come from that, in the hospital bed, not being able to move and walk and do anything, now only a year later, I’m not training, but I’m actually in these finals, in two in a row.

“To come this far so fast – I’m really looking forward to the possibilities.

“I just feel like there’s a lot of growth still to go in my game, that’s actually the most exciting part,” she said.

“Even though I’m not a spring chicken, I still have a very, very bright future.”

Victory today will equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

“It is really incredible. A year ago I was literally fighting for my life at the hospital after having the baby,” said Williams, who missed last year’s US Open because of the birth of her child, Olympia.

“Every day I step out on this court I am so grateful to have an opportunity to play this sport.

“So no matter what happens in any match, I already feel like I have already won.”

Williams was out of the game for over a year after announcing her pregnancy in April 2017 and then giving birth last September.

Now, she is back playing at her home Grand Slam and looking close to her very best.

A dominant win over older sister Venus laid down a significant marker in the third round, before a straight-set win over Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals showed she was able to compete with the world’s best players once again.

That meant she came into her semi-final as the favourite against a player who had never before reached a Grand Slam semi-final.

But the ease with which she ran away with the match – winning 11 of the final 12 games and losing just 12 points in the second set – was startling.

“This is just the beginning. I’m only a few months in and really looking forward to the rest of the year and next year,” Williams said.

“I just feel like there’s a lot of growth still to go in my game. That’s actually the most exciting part.

“Even though I’m not a spring chicken, I still have a very, very bright future.”

Japan’s Osaka is 16 years younger than Williams and will get the chance to play her heroine in the US Open final.

Source :

The Herald

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