Serena Williams zooms into US Open final

Naomi Osaka had a straight-sets win over Madison Keys

Serena Williams, 23-time Grand Slam champion, is all set to try and win her seventh US Open title when she takes on Japan's Naomi Osaka in the final on September 9.

Osaka might be the biggest Serena fan inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.

"This is going to sound really bad, but I was just thinking 'I really want to play Serena.'"

Tune into the U.S. Open final match on Saturday!

Osaka, almost three years younger than her opponent, had never been beyond the fourth round at a slam prior to this week but, bar a very close match against fellow 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka, has steamrollered through the draw. She did not yet know the identity of her quarterfinal opponent: Serena, who had won the first set with a bagel, or the 44th-ranked Kaia Kanepi, who had pushed Serena to a third.

Osaka carved out two break points and although Keys saved the first one, she forced an error on the American's forehand to take a 3-2 lead. "I'm for sure going to watch it", Keys said.

Instead, the Japanese No. 1 will need to pick her spots wisely.

Even more incredibly, however, is that Osaka has been able to eclipse this data in NY these last two weeks - the Japanese player has held serve 92.2% and broken 52.9% (combined 145.1%) and with this in mind, she clearly can not be ruled out of the final here.

Once Williams was in front, Sevastova said, there was no stopping her. She needs to come out firing and on the front foot, because Osaka needs badly to get off to a good start to build belief that she can pull off the upset.

Williams and Osaka set up US Open showdown

Williams' determination to win is unquestionable but Osaka offered an insight into her drive when asked how her dream meetings with her idol on the Grand Slam stage finished.

"When I was a little kid I always dreamed I would play Serena in a Grand Slam final". As she said Thursday while holding back tears, good things lie ahead.

"I love you", Osaka said.

Sevastova, who beat defending champion Sloane Stephens to reach the last four, was left regretting "some stupid games from me that I lost".

Williams had lost in the semifinals in her previous two trips to NY - against Roberta Vinci in 2015 while bidding for a calendar-year Grand Slam, and against Karolina Pliskova in 2016.

The world number 26 has raised quite a few eyebrows with the level of tennis she had been playing over the last few months.

"Every time I step out on this court I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to play this sport".

Either way, this will be Williams' 31st grand slam final all up. So that contrast between her looks and her name makes her even more charismatic to Japanese people.

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