'I love you', Osaka tells US Open final opponent Serena

Friday September 7 2018

 

New York. Naomi Osaka told US Open title opponent Serena Williams "I love you" just moments after she became the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final.

The 20-year-old breakout star of the tournament swept into the record books and Saturday's championship match against the 23-time major winner with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Madison Keys, the runner-up in 2017.

When asked on court what she told herself as she served for the match, she said: "Don't double fault".

"Why," asked the interviewer. "Serena," replied the charismatic Osaka.

"I love you, Serena," she added before adding "I love you, mom; I love everybody".

Osaka, the 20th seed, has met and defeated Williams once -- at Miami in March.

Keys had beaten Osaka three times out of three before Thursday's semi-final but the 14th seed admitted she had been completely over-powered.

"I thought I could get a break but every time she would hit an ace or a big shot," said the 23-year-old.

"It was difficult. You think she's going to let up but she didn't. She was very impressive."

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