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Williams walked off Arthur Ashe Stadium court with a wave and twirl to await the victor of the other semi-final between Japan's Naomi Osaka and American Madison Keys, who lost last year's final to Sloane Stephens.

Williams, playing in only her second tournament since returning from maternity leave, suffered a humiliating 6-3, 6-2 defeat.

"I felt like if I could break, maybe I could get back into it".

"Just the fact that it's happening, I'm very happy about it". I'm not there yet. I'm on the climb still. "I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam", Osaka said.

Now, she'll have the chance to face off against her childhood hero at the Women's Singles Finals of the 2018 US Open.

Hai Do wrote this story for VOA Learning English. "We will be on the right page on Saturday". But don't call it a comeback. While Williams certainly appears to be very much on top of her game and has indicated no plans to walk away anytime soon, Osaka appears to be the future. "I'm for sure going to watch it", Keys said. Every time I step out on this court, I am so grateful I have an opportunity to play this sport.

"For sure, we will have more athletes like her who are half-Japanese as athletes become more worldwide", said Hiroshi Nakamura, a 65-year-old fan of Osaka, who works at a real estate asset management firm and plays tennis regularly.

Williams won 24 of the 28 points when she went to the net.

She hasn't won one at the U.S. Open since 2014 or anywhere since the 2017 Australian Open, when while pregnant she became the oldest Grand Slam female champion at 35. What I really love about Naomi is that she really preserved that innocence somehow. But that is Serena. If she continued this tear and outhits Serena (putting the GOAT to pasture, as it were) would it surprise you? It was something he said he believed with great conviction.

That kind of milestone could consume any player, but it wasn't why Williams got choked up before a crowd of 22,450 in the wake of her win over Sevastova.

But Osaka, the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final, told reporters after her semi-final that she would focus on separating the legend from the player. "And the work she's done since April, it's been unbelievable". "I love you (Serena)".

"It still feels really weird because I've never beaten Madison before", Osaka said. She fell in the next round, and then lost in the third round at both the French Open and Wimbledon.

Honestly, it is remarkable. "Sometimes with outside elements, you lose track of yourself". I guess, looking at results, it would be easy to say yes.

Keys emerged for the second set with an air of determination but she surrendered her serve in the first game with her 21st unforced error of the match.

The Japanese youngster won her first WTA title at Indian Wells, before saying "this is probably going to be the worst acceptance speech of all time" and offering an unfiltered insight into her personality.

Osaka, meanwhile, will do everything she can to bring the match-up to the conclusion of her youthful dream.