Naomi Osaka has described US Open final opponent Serena Williams as her “idol” as she prepares for her first Grand Slam final.
The Japanese star, who moved to the USA as a three-year-old, secured her place in Saturday’s showpiece with a 2-0 win over last year’s runner-up Madison Keys.
Osaka will be bidding to land her first-ever major title, while Williams is gunning for a 24th Grand Slam crown.
The 20th seed has dropped just one set en route to the final and Osaka is delighted to have a chance to take on American star Williams on Saturday.
“It still feels a little bit, like, surreal. Even when I was a little kid, I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam,” she said after overcoming Keys.
“Just the fact that it’s happening, I’m very happy about it. At the same time I feel like even though I should enjoy this moment, I should still think of it as another match.
“Yeah, I shouldn’t really think of her as, like, my idol. I should just try to play her as an opponent.”
Osaka did managed a 2-0 win over Williams in Miami earlier this year after the former world number one had returned from a long absence following the birth of her first child.