SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Serena Williams to play Japan's Naomi Osaka in US Open final

Serena Williams brushed aside Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets to advance to the US Open women's final,...

Posted: Sep 7, 2018 2:37 PM
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 2:37 PM

Serena Williams brushed aside Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets to advance to the US Open women's final, taking her a step closer to equaling the all-time record haul of grand slam titles.

Williams, 36, was at her imperious best in defeating her Latvian opponent, taking only 66 minutes to dispatch the 19th seed 6-3 6-0 to reach her ninth US Open final.

Serena Williams

Sports figures

Asia

Continents and regions

East Asia

Japan

Osaka

Sports and recreation

Tennis

Sports events

Tennis events

Grand Slam Tournaments

US Open (tennis)

The Americas

North America

United States

Northeastern United States

New York (State)

Sports organizations and teams

Women's Tennis Association

women's tennis

The 23-time grand slam champion will meet Naomi Osaka of Japan in Saturday's final after the 20th seed beat American Madison Keys 6-2 6-4 to become the first Japanese woman to advance to a grand slam final.

Should Williams beat Osaka, who was one year old when Williams won her first grand slam in 1999, she will equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

READ: Djokovic ends Millman's improbably US Open run

"It's honestly really incredible," said Williams, who is ranked No. 26 in the world after a heavily interrupted year following the difficult birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia.

"A year ago I was fighting for literally my life at the hospital after I had the baby. Every day I step on this court I'm so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport.

"No matter what happens in any match, semis, finals, I just feel like I've already won."

Dominant display

Sevastova broke Williams' serve early in the match, but once the American great found her rhythm it was clear that there was only going to be one outcome.

While she was dominant with her powerful groundstrokes, the former world No.1 also showed her strength at the net, winning 24 of 28 points when coming forward.

It is the six-time winner's first US Open final in four years and only once has she dropped a set on her way to this year's final, in her last-16 match against Kaia Kanepi.

"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, who will be competing in her 31st grand slam final, added.

"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."

Historic meeting

Osaka, who has made great strides in 2018, winning Indian Wells in March, said the opportunity to meet Williams in the final was a powerful motivator.

"This is going to sound really bad but I was thinking, 'I really want to play Serena'," she said, adding when asked why, "because she's Serena! What do you mean?"

Early in the second set, after a dispiriting end to the first set from Keys, the American looked set to mount a comeback, breaking Osaka's first service game in a 22-point, six break-point game.

The partisan crowd tried to buoy the home favorite as she gained in confidence but it was a tough ask as Osaka brought her back down to earth. At 20, Osaka will be the youngest women's US Open finalist since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.

She said that beating Keys for the first time felt "really weird."

"I've never beaten Madison. I was just glad to get through this match, she's such a good player," she said.

She thanked the crowd and had a special message for her mother, who was watching from the stands at Arthur Ashe.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news and features

"Mom, I did it! I love you! Thank you."

Asked if she had a message to her final opponent, she repeated "I love you" to laughs around the stadium. "I love everybody! Thank you!"

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2699233

Reported Deaths: 57322
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings34720810951
Queens32440110394
Suffolk2527993673
Nassau2239883326
Bronx2123706802
New York1755004657
Westchester1473702354
Erie1222932028
Monroe960181244
Richmond919661967
Orange61473944
Onondaga58601808
Rockland55139782
Dutchess37627507
Albany33929409
Oneida32627634
Niagara28121414
Broome27865432
Saratoga24009222
Schenectady19020243
Ulster18785288
Rensselaer17067192
Chautauqua14614189
Oswego13890132
Putnam13013101
Chemung12630174
St. Lawrence12554143
Steuben12197187
Ontario11437118
Jefferson11088105
Wayne9986101
Cattaraugus9777154
Cayuga9585112
Sullivan939390
Genesee8444143
Herkimer8139141
Clinton790446
Fulton7678109
Tompkins728161
Madison7219108
Warren707094
Livingston703775
Montgomery7027159
Washington645676
Tioga623673
Cortland602088
Allegany5867119
Columbia5600113
Chenango545295
Orleans535995
Otsego525561
Franklin525325
Wyoming516664
Greene486188
Delaware428251
Lewis412539
Seneca314567
Essex292737
Schoharie261524
Yates195333
Schuyler187620
Hamilton5103
Unassigned1362
Out of NY0336
Utica
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 19°
Oneonta
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 12°
Herkimer
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 19°
Old Forge
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve