Naomi Osaka holds off Madison Keys to reach maiden Grand Slam final

Shahida Jacobs
Victory for Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka won the battle of power-hitting against Madison Keys to reach the 2018 US Open final.

While the score was a pretty lopsided 6-2, 6-4 in favour of the Japanese player, several points turned into slugfests as both players went for their shots.

Keys came out hard in the fourth game of the opening set and raced to 0-40 lead to earn three break points, but Osaka fought them off, and a fourth one, to hold serve.

The 20-year-old then turned the tables in the next game as she broke and, after backing it up with her own serve, claimed the double break as Keys started to misfire.

Osaka was in charge early on in the second set with a break in the opening game and Keys then threw the kitchen sink at her in the next game as she had six break points, but again the Japanese player held off the challenge.

The American continued to ask question over the next few games, but Osaka had answers for everything and got over the finish line in one hour and 27 minutes.

First-time Grand Slam finalist Osaka, the first Japanese woman to reach the final, will face Serena Williams in Saturday’s showpiece match after the American beat Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets.

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