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At the time, the court at the roofless Arthur Ashe Stadium was green. For a full preview, we've got you covered here.

She is beyond eager to play Serena Williams today. "I think Naomi can stay with her".

At important points during that match, Osaka said she asked herself, "What would Serena do?"

On the other side, the 20-year-old Osaka could be the first Grand Slam singles champion from Japan and the youngest women's champion at the U.S. Open since Maria Sharapova was 19 in 2006. Those will be the points that let her, and the tennis world, know that Osaka has arrived.

Stanley Kay: Serena's serve will be critical. She has an unbelievable serve. And in Japan, Naomi Osaka was still a month away from her second birthday. If she's sad, she's going to show it.

Sevastova was powerless to stem the advancing tide in her first ever grand slam semi-final.

As surprising as Serena Williams' easy march to the Open final became one year after blood-clot complications following childbirth, it's a real stunner the 20-year-old Osaka is still standing. "I tried on her games, but she served well - when somebody serves 123 miles per hour ace there's not much you can do".

The most valuable commodity of any sport is the athlete who can connect with a new generation of fans renewing the life cycle of an aging base.

"When I won, it was a little surreal, but I also thought it was sad it's over because I wanted to keep playing her", Osaka told The Times in June. To say the stars are aligned is an understatement.

Williams and Osaka set up US Open showdown

And therein lies the most hard task ahead for both Williams and her coach, to do what she was unable to do in 2015 and 2016: Shut out all the expectation and desire and outside noise and find the inner stillness and focus to execute her game plan as well as she has all tournament one more time.

JW: 1. Managing the moment. "She never gives up", Ohanian captioned the post. She made the women's doubles final with Australian Ashleigh Barty, who upset No. 2 seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos. Lean on the staff. They are "connected" by Sascha Bajin, who worked with Serena first and now with Osaka as coach. Stay in this zone.

But Pliskova's game is ideally suited to grass, proof of which are her titles from Nottingham in 2016 and Eastbourne in 2017.

Sevastova got off to the ideal start - using all the tricks in her locker to secure an early break - but she was quickly pegged back amid relentless pressure from the American. After breaking again for a 4-2 lead she produced a convincing hold that featured the first of her four aces.

Despite her dominant display Williams estimated she is still only operating at 50-60 percent and then fired an ominous warning to her fellow players. She was ready for this tournament. So that contrast between her looks and her name makes her even more charismatic to Japanese people.

JW: You have to go with sentimentality as well as experience and pick Serena. "She is always surprising". But I'll take Serena in three sets.

"But she has 23 Grand Slams".

Osaka was instead going through the best time in her career as she had just won her maiden WTA title in Indian Wells.

After losing the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, Williams will have another chance on Saturday to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 slam singles titles. But Serena takes home the trophy in two sets on Saturday.

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