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Naomi Osaka Advances To U.S. Open Final

Naomi Osaka Advances To U.S. Open Final

Game. Set. Match.

Tennis player Naomi Osaka advances to the U.S. Open Final after a three-set win at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, ESPN reports.

Osaka will face two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka in this week’s final. Both women have been ranked No. 1 before and are arguably the two best players in the sport this year. Azarenka won the Australia Open in 2012 and 2013, losing to Serena Williams in the US Open finals both times. This year, she pushed out a win against the Williams sister in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory, advancing her to the finals.

"I mean, it's obviously disappointing. At the same time, you know, I did what I could today," said Williams, who has six US Open singles trophies. "I feel like other times I've been close and I could have done better. Today I felt like I gave a lot."

Azarenka is on a current streak with 11 victories in a row to Osaka’s 10 after her win against Jennifer Brady in the semifinal. Osaka and Brady took a combined 70 wins, 35 each with 42 unforced errors. Osaka earned the victory in the end with a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3 win against her opponent, serving at speeds up to 120 mph.

 

 

“I just felt like I was sticking it out. It felt like we were trading serves. I tried to adjust a little bit on her serve in the third set so maybe that helped. [This win] means a lot for me," Osaka said. "I kind of consider New York my second home. I kind of love the atmosphere, even though there’s no people here. I feel like this court kind of suits me well.” 

The Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of the only courts at the US Open using line judges, with most using electronic line-calling to reduce the number of on-site people as a result of the pandemic.

Osaka and Azarenka both said they look forward to their matchup, with their first match two weeks ago being canceled due to Osaka’s injured left hamstring.

“[It’s] going to be super fun. [Naomi] plays incredible,” Azarenka said.

Let’s bring home the "W" Naomi!

Photo Courtesy of Seth Wenig/Associated Press