It would have been the final of the Western and Southern Open 2020, the first appointment in the New York bubble. It will mainly be the final of the US Open. The Japanese Naomi Osaka, driven by motivations unrelated to tennis, after a clear path and the vixtory against Jennifer Brady will challenge a splendid Viktoria Azarenka who instead denied Serena Williams an appointment with the thirty-fourth Grand Slam final.
The obsession with the twenty-fourth pearl could therefore remain so. It is useless to hide. We all thought a little bit that the best was shoulders. That Vika no longer had a shot in the barrel. Error. In act number twenty-four of the saga with Serena (the fourth with Arthur Ashe in the background) the thirty-one-year-old Belarusian remedies a nightmare start - seasoned by a very low percentage of points with the first ball and above all by fourteen unforced errors - but cancels also a very dangerous break ball at the start of the second.
It makes important improvements to the tactical plan, eliminates the errors not forced by the project, touches all the corners with the forehand and above all leaves the misery of twenty-one points on the road with the joke available between the second and the third set.
Serena, without any real weapons at her disposal and with the petrol needle close to zero, simply waits for the conclusion. Ends 1-6 6-3 6-3 on the threshold of two hours of play. Azarenka (now her eleventh consecutive success in the Flushing Meadows "bubble") will try again to win a Grand Slam seven years after the second.
Seven years after the final in New York: lost, coincidentally, against Serena.
Osaka got the final
As in the logic of things, given the circumstances, the one between Osaka and Brady turns out to be an incredibly balanced match.
In a first set without a break, unique in the women's circuit, the Japanese managed to make the difference in the jeu decisif with a mega-split of 7-1. The American - who wins practically all the points with the first ball and who faces near the net often and willingly in an attempt not to give points of reference points - instead lands the decisive push on 4-3 and at the first useful opportunity does not wrong.
The third set, a logical consequence, settles at the end on very precise tracks practically in the starting time. Osaka, good at breaking the balance at the first useful opportunity, manages the exchanges from the baseline with more order, flirts with the second break at 4-1 and does not prevent some problems with the ball throw closes on 7-6 (1) 3-6 6-3.
On the Centre Court of Flushing Meadows, which has now become a second home, the Japanese will play the third Grand Slam final of her career.