Williams, who is approaching her 37th birthday at the end of the month, said of her return: "This is just the beginning".
Ashleigh Barty and her doubles partner, Coco Vandeweghe, have progressed to the final of the US Open women's doubles competition with a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Czech number one seed pairing Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
Despite her shy on-court demeanour, Osaka is quickly becoming one of the best players on tour and victory over Williams will see her jump into the top 10 for the first time. The pair met in the opening round of the Miami Open in March, the Japanese No. 1 recording a 6-3, 6-2 win. I had one more to go still. Up in the stands, her mother put two thumbs up and applauded. "Serena", replied the charismatic Osaka.
Sevastova was no match for Williams.
Osaka has demonstrated extreme composure to go along with her power game and has only dropped one set while carving a path into the final.
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Despite her dominant display Williams estimated she is still only operating at 50-60 percent and then fired an ominous warning to her fellow players. She represents Japan on the court, but feels in many ways like she represents the best of America and its melting-pot ideals.
Williams had to fight back tears as she said: "It's obviously really incredible. Yeah, I shouldn't really think of her as, like, my idol". She was the last of the top-10 women's seeds to survive at NY this year before ultimately losing to Serena, who avenged her 2016 defeat. The age gap (16 yrs, 20 days) is the second widest between grand slam finalists in the Open era after the 1991 US Open final between Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova, who were 17 yrs, 45 days apart.
Her greatest asset, her serve, was as devastating as ever as Williams lost just seven points on her first serve and hit four aces.
The two lock horns tonight and Williams believes she has the upper hand because she has nothing to lose. And in last year's U.S. Open, she defeated defending champion Angelique Kerber in the first round.
Williams first won at the US Open in 1999 and has won the tournament six times.
The Japanese sensation can expect a tough test this time around but she has the game to test even the best in the business, which was evident during her title-winning run in Indian Wells.