Serena Williams is just one match away from a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title. Williams dominated Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3, 6-0, at the US Open on Thursday to advance to her second consecutive Grand Slam final. She lost the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber in July, but she certainly seems to have pushed that from her mind. She will play Naomi Osaka, who defeated Madison Keys in a decisive 6-2, 6-4 match.
For Williams, it was more of what we've seen all Open. She's lost only one set in the tournament to this point. On Thursday, it was all about her play at the net. Though it wasn't her cleanest match -- Sevastova actually had fewer unforced errors -- Williams won 86 percent of her points at the net. She also broke Sevastova's serve five times, and had her serve broken only once.
With every match, it's felt like Williams has added something new to her game. Whether it be her serve, her return, her lateral movement or her net game, she only seems to be getting better. Osaka will have her hands full in her quest for her first career Grand Slam. Williams will look to tie Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slams on Saturday, and she appears to be on a mission.
Osaka, meanwhile, played the late match against Madison Keys. She never had her serve broken -- although Keys had 13 break points -- and she broke Keys' serve only three times. However, with how Osaka served, that was enough as 32 unforced errors from Keys ultimately proved to be the difference in the match. Osaka is the first Japanese finalist in the US Open, and she'll have her work cut out for her against Williams.
Osaka is only 20, but it's been an outstanding season for her. The No. 20 seed is going for her first ever Grand Slam final, and her career-best finish before this Open was the fourth round in the Australia Open earlier this season. She won the Indian Wells Open this year as well.
Both players are playing for something completely different, so Saturday should be an interesting matchup. The 36-year-old Williams and Osaka play fairly different styles, so there's plenty to look out for.