17 Nov

Naomi Osaka stuns Serena Williams in controversial final to lift maiden US Open title

first_imgNaomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam as she beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the US Open on Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.It was a huge victory for Japan and Osaka personally, who has time and again accepted that the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena is her idol.For Serena though, this was her second successive runners-up finish at a Grand Slam after Germany’s Angelique Kerber defeated her in the final of Wimbledon at the All England Club in London.Osaka is one of the most exciting prospects in the world of tennis at the moment. With her endearing nature and powerful game, she has got the pundits excited and with the US Open title, she has proved many of them right.HIGHLIGHTS OF SERENA WILLIAMS VS NAOMI OSAKAThe US Open title is a cherry on top of a good season for Osaka where she won her first WTA title at Indian Wells.Your 2018 #USOpen champion…@Naomi_Osaka_ pic.twitter.com/yAPFaezBpzUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018This was the second time in her career that Osaka faced Serena and she has now managed to defeat the American both times. Earlier in the year, the two faced off in the first round of Miami Open, where Osaka thrashed Serena 6-3, 6-2.Of course, Saturday was a completely different prospect with Serena’s fitness and power much better than March, when she was still feeding her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian.advertisementThis was an inter-generational battle where the 16-year age gap between Osaka and Serena was the second biggest in a major final in the Open era, topped only by the United States Open in 1991, where the 17-year-old Monica Seles defeated 34-year-old Martina Navratilova.After her semi-final victory over Madison Keys that made her the first Japanese woman in Open era to reach a Grand Slam final, Osaka had said ‘I love you’ when she was asked for a message for her idol. Everyone on the court had chuckled at her genuinity and Osaka had buried her face in her palms in embarrassment.On Saturday, however, Osaka showed no such naivity. She was up to the task and banged her powerful groundstrokes at Serena to completely unsettle the biggest female tennis star.Many experts have said that Osaka’s powerful groundstrokes is reminiscent of Serena and perhaps it was a taste of her own medicine for the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who was looking to equal Margaret Court’s 24-slam record in tennis history.The Pride of [email protected]_Osaka_ defeats Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title!#USOpen pic.twitter.com/sNilrZOaNUUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018Osaka took control of the match right from the start and in just the third game, she broke Serena to take a 3-1 lead in the first set. Immediately after, she held her nerves despite all the pressure from Serena, achieved a double break to take a massive 4-1 lead in the set.Osaka’s service game and her groundstrokes were on point and Serena, right from the start, struggled to deal with the pace Osaka put behind the ball.Also, Serena struggled with her serves and double faults cost her the first set. With much ease thereafter, Osaka took the first set 6-2.The second set began similarly with Serena and Osaka holding their serves. Serena then held on to a very tough second service and immediately, broke Osaka to take a 3-1 lead in the second set.In between these three games, Serena Williams received a warning from the chair umpire, who thought that her coach sent a signal from the box.Serena immediately went to the umpire and said that she did not cheat. She said, “I’d rather lose than cheat”.However, Osaka going a break down roared back with vengeance and broke Serena immediately after to go back on [email protected]_Osaka_ soaks in the love…https://t.co/VtxXIM1nti#USOpen pic.twitter.com/539G2daAsuUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018Upon losing her serve, Serena smashed her racket in anger that led to the umpire docking a point off her. Buoyed by the extra point, Osaka went on to hold her serve with a couple of excellent forehands to make it 3-3.Serena, troubled by the docked point, lost her serve again as Osaka took a 4-3 and it was after that things took a worse turn.Serena had gotten extremely emotional by the umpire warning and kept getting engaged in verbal battles with the umpire. With Osaka yet to serve, at the changeover, Serena called the umpire “a thief” for docking her a point.advertisementThe umpire levied a ‘verbal abuse’ code violation on Serena that led to a game penalty and there erupted an immense controversy.Osaka automatically went up 5-3 without having to hold serve. Serena got fired up due to the call and called for the tournament referee. However, all that happened was Serena screaming, “it’s not fair”.The serve came back to Serena and she held it to love.However, among boos from the audience, Naomi Osaka served for the match and showed immense calm and maturity to win her maiden Grand Slam title.last_img read more