Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams to win US Open title

‘I love you’, Osaka tells US Open final opponent Serena

Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title Saturday, beating Serena Williams in a controversial US Open final that saw the American docked a game after calling the umpire a "thief".

"Since it was my first Grand Slam final, I did not want to get overwhelmed", said 20-year-old Osaka after her 6-2, 6-4 win.

Though her nerves on the tennis court don't show it, it was a reminder of just how youthful the 20-year-old Osaka is.

"I know everyone was cheering for her and I'm sorry it had to end like this", said Osaka.

Williams, who also was in tears during and after the match, tried to ensure the moment was not ruined for Osaka, a player who idolized her when she was growing up.

The 2018 US Open final should be remembered for its scintillating tennis - Williams's magnificent dropshotting, Naomi Osaka's wonderful forehand, the brilliant rallying. You know me really well.

Williams was initially rattled in the first set by the quality of play from Osaka, who seemed to have no problem dealing with her opponent's power and had the sharper movement and serve. Osaka, the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam, was unflappable from the start, largely avoiding mistakes-she hit just 14 unforced errors-and taking advantage of Williams's missteps. For me to say "thief" and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.

Osaka remained patient against the rallying Keys, who could not cash in on her opportunities at Flushing Meadows, as the former became the first Japanese woman in the Open era to reach a slam singles final.

She continued her rant as she stated to the tournament referee: "This is not fair".

Just before the U.S. Open, the French tennis federation president said that the black catsuit worn this year by Williams at the French Open would not be allowed at that tournament in the future. I don't know. We don't even have time to.

"This is going to sound really bad, but I was just thinking I really want to play Serena", Osaka said in an on-court interview.

In the semi-finals she was up against Kim Clijsters, a former rival who'd taken off almost three years to have her first child and had returned to the sport just weeks before.

Serena Williams angrily responded to a code violation for coaching by telling the chair umpire that she'd "rather lose" than cheat. I had one more to go still.

"Yeah, I shouldn't really think of her as, like, my idol".

However, Serena, later in her press conference, reiterated that she had received no coaching.

"'Naomi is a deserving champion and Serena at all times plays with class and makes us proud".

After their initial service holds in the second set, Serena held on to a very tough second service and immediately, broke Osaka to take a 3-1 lead in the second set.

But Williams handled the moment with astounding grace, instructing the crowd to stop their booing, and instead embrace Osaka asking those in attendance to celebrate her victory.

Williams had no answer to Naomi Osaka's consistency in the first set, losing it 6-2.

"The combination of her strength and childlike innocence is her charm", said the conservative-leaning Yomiuri, another major daily.

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