Rising Tennis Star From Japan to Face Serena Williams in the U.S. Open Final

Naomi Osaka rose to international prominence last year after defeating U.S. Open defending champion Angelique Kerber in the very first round through a stellar upset.

Now, the 20-year-old rising tennis star is shooting for the very title herself as she takes on six-time champion Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Saturday.

Williams, considered one of the all-time greats in tennis, has a fan in Osaka, who considers the historic final her “dream match,” according to TIME.

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A victory for the 36-year-old would bring her overall record up to 24 Grand Slam singles titles, tying a feat first achieved by Margaret Court.  

Meanwhile, a win for Osaka would be historic, as she is both the youngest woman to reach a U.S. Open final since 2009 and the first Japanese woman to reach the final of any Grand Slam.

With Osaka having only one tour-level title so far, a victory over Williams will be a brilliant start of what many are already eyeing to be a fruitful tennis career.

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Osaka, who is considered hafu or half Japanese, was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. The Florida-based athlete moved with her parents to New York at the age of 3.  

Playing under Japan’s flag, Osaka trains under the helm of her coach Sascha Bajin who is incidentally Williams’ former hitting partner.

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