The first singles silverware of the US Open tournament will be won on Saturday evening when Serena Williams takes on Naomi Osaka for the final Grand Slam title of the year inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Both women have come through the draw strongly although in terms of experience at this level this is going to be something of a David vs Goliath element to what should be an extremely entertaining final.
Once again Serena Williams will be heading into a major final looking to match Margaret Court’s record of Grand Slam titles and if she is going to do that I’m sure New York would be just the place she would prefer to do it in. She adores New York and New York clearly adores her so she is not going to be short of support.
The legend has dropped just one set in this tournament so far and when you consider she believes we won’t see her back to her best until next season that is pretty remarkable. Kaia Kanepi is the only person to have won a set from her but if there is a vulnerability in Serena we might have seen it at Wimbledon where she was a lot tighter in the final than she was in the rest of the tournament.
The Indian Wells champion went into this tournament in the middle of a quiet patch but it hasn’t taken her long to snap out of that. She has looked superb so far in this event with a wonderful range of power and finesse combined with a defensive ability that we don’t always see in the women’s game. Her Indian Wells run might have been a shock but this isn’t.
Osaka made a lot of the fact that Serena is her idol in the interview after her semi-final but one thing I’ve noticed about the Japanese star is while she is likeable, bubbly and lovely on the outside there is a steely determination to win when she is on the court. I don’t think she’ll have any problems taking on Serena in this, her first major final.
Head to Head
These two have met just once in their career so far although it was earlier this year when Osaka took care of Serena 6-3 6-2 in the first round in Miami. That came the week after Osaka had won in Indian Wells and was very early in the comeback of Serena so quite how much we can take from that remains to be seen but it could be relevant in some way.
I’m looking forward to this final. I know taking Serena Williams on is the quick way to the poorhouse but I can’t ignore the 12/5 quotes about the Japanese star Naomi Osaka in this final. To be fair to Serena she hasn’t had the toughest draw to make it this far and Osaka could give her the toughest test she has had so far.
Osaka is hitting the ball extremely well and is one of the few women who can push Serena back with her serve. We saw all of the defensive skills of the Japanese youngster on Thursday night and with little to lose she can let her big shots flow and that makes her a real danger to land her first Grand Slam title.
WON – Back N.Osaka to beat S.Williams for a 3/10 stake at 3.40 with Bet365