Ricky Keeler

With Serena Williams looking for her record-tying 24th Grand Slam title, here is why she will win the US Open final against Naomi Osaka.

For the second straight Grand Slam, Serena Williams will be looking to tie Margaret Court with her 24th major title. She will be competing against 20-year-old Naomi Osaka in the US Open final Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m ET (ESPN) inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

During that Wimbledon Final, Angelique Kerber was able to overpower Serena with her groundstrokes. Osaka brings similar power to the court and she was one of the players we profiled in our women’s preview that can be one of the surprise dark horses.

Osaka has to go into this match with the belief that can she beat one of the best players, if not the best player, to ever play the game. Back in March, she beat her 6-3, 6-2 in the first round in Miami.

Now, this was one of Serena’s first matches since coming back from her maternity leave. With that being said, Osaka had seven aces in that match on her serve and she only made 12 unforced errors. If there was a perfect match to play against Serena, that would be it.

Osaka was impressive in her semifinal win against Madison Keys because she fought off all 13 break points with one of them being saved on a second serve ace in the second set. She showed good poise with this being her first Grand Slam semifinal match.

Through all the great things Osaka has done, this is Serena’s time for history and it is because she can you beat you in many different ways. In her semifinal match against Anastasija Sevastova, she went to the net and was 24-for-28 on those points. Normally, she will not attempt 28 volleys in a match.

Right now, Serena’s serve has been tough for opponents to figure out in this US Open. She has 64 aces (most in the tournament) and she has won 78 percent of her first serve points (tied for the most). Both Serena and Osaka have broken serve 27 times (tied for second).

Williams got off to a slow start in her match against Sevastova but was able to bounce back and dominate. She has the ability to put her game into another gear that is tough to stop on tour. The question is whether or not the pressure of getting that 24th Slam will get to her.

Outside of that second set against Kaia Kanepi in the Round of 16, Serena has played great tennis throughout the tournament. For her to play this well just a year removed from giving birth to her daughter is fantastic and exciting to watch.

While Osaka can put pressure on Serena with her serve, this is a match which Serena will win in straight sets. She avenged her semifinal loss from 2016 in the quarters this year against Karolina Pliskova and expect her to avenge that loss to Osaka in Miami on Saturday.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.