US Open glance: Serena Williams faces Naomi Osaka in final
NEW YORK (AP) — A quick look at the U.S. Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO SATURDAY
Serena Williams will be trying to win her seventh U.S. Open championship and 24th Grand Slam singles title overall when she faces 20th-seeded Naomi Osaka in the women’s final. If she gets No. 24, it would tie Margaret Court for the most major championships in tennis history; as it is, Williams owns the professional-era record of 23, because Court won some of hers against amateur competition. Osaka is making her debut in a major final at age 20, and says that Williams, who turns 37 this month, is her idol. Another connection between the two that could play a role Saturday: Osaka is coached by Sascha Bajin, who used to be Williams’ hitting partner. Williams missed the U.S. Open last year, because she gave birth to her daughter, Olympia, during the tournament. The American then faced health complications, including blood clots, before returning to the tour this February. The U.S. Open is her seventh tournament back — she was the runner-up at Wimbledon in July — and Williams says she is still on the upswing. While Williams is generally considered one of the greatest tennis players in history, Osaka is clearly a player on the rise, someone whose stinging strokes and veteran’s calm have marked her as a future star. She is the first woman from Japan to reach a Grand Slam title match. Osaka was born there, then moved to New York when she was 3 and is now based in Florida.
Cloudy. High of 74 degrees.
Cloudy. High of 77 degrees.
FRIDAY’S SINGLES RESULTS
Men’s semifinals: No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro beat No. 1 Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 6-2, retired; No. 6 Novak Djokovic beat No. 21 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
STATS OF THE DAY
9 — Years since del Potro last appeared in a Grand Slam final, when he beat Roger Federer for the 2009 U.S. Open title.
8 — U.S. Open finals reached by Djokovic, equaling the professional-era record also achieved by Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I hate to retire, but staying one more set out there, playing like this, would be too much for me.” — Nadal, who stopped against del Potro because of pain in his right knee.