Naomi Osaka is now on course to defend the US Open Grand Slam title she won last year after ending Serena Williams' bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. The 23-year-old will face 22nd seed American Jennifer Brady for the title on Saturday.
Osaka, with a 6-3 6-4 win over Williams' now has a record of 20 wins in a row, while Saturday opponent Brady withstood late drama to defeat Karolina Muchova and reach her first major final. Williams who breaks down in tears during a press conference has experienced another setback as she once again came up short in her 10th attempt to move level with Margaret Court's haul of major titles.
23-year-old Osaka, whose last defeat came on February 7, 2020, said on the court: "I was really nervous and scared in the beginning but I eased my way into it. It was about having fun and it was the first day having a crowd for a while. It's an honour to play her and I didn't want to go out really bad so I just tried my best. I was a little kid watching her play so coming up against her on the court for me is a dream."
The 39-year-old American in her post-match press conference said that "I don't know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone. So... It was a big error day for me today, I don't know. I'm done," before leaving the room in tears.
She later took to social media to convey a message to her Australian fans, which said: "Melbourne and my Australian fans. Today was not an ideal outcome or performance but it happens. I am so honoured to be able to play in front of you all. Your support your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today. I am forever in debt and grateful to each and every single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you."