The Legend Versus The Newcomer: Five Facts About The US Open Women’s Final - UBITENNIS
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The Legend Versus The Newcomer: Five Facts About The US Open Women’s Final

The key statistics behinds Serena Williams’ upcoming clash with Naomi Osaka in Flushing Meadows.




The battle for the women’s title at the US Open will be contested between a legend of the sport and a player that has the potential to fill her shoes one day. Serena Williams will play Naomi Osaka in the final at Flushing Meadows. Williams will be playing in her 31st major final, compared to Osaka who will be making her debut at the age of 20. The clash of two different worlds is a mouth-watering prospect with plenty at stake for both players.


Here are five things to know about this year’s US Open women’s final.

1. It will be a historic match

World No.19 Osaka is the first Japanese woman to reach a grand slam final in the history of the sport. She achieved the accolade by dropping one set in six matches. That was to Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round. Another 20-year-old rising star on the tour.

“It feels a little bit surreal.” Osaka commented about her US Open run on Thursday. “Even when I was a little kid, I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam. Just the fact that it’s happening, I’m very happy about it.”

36-year-old Williams also has history in her sight. She has already become the third oldest woman to contest a grand slam final at the age of 36 years and 349 days. Only sister Venus and Martina Navratilova have contested a final at an older age. A win over Osaka would make her the oldest ever female grand slam champion.

“This is the beginning. I’m not there yet. I’m on the climb still.” Williams commented about her return to the tour following maternity leave.
“I just feel like my future bright, even though I’m not a spring chicken, but I still have a very, very bright future. That is super exciting for me.”

Victory would also place Williams level with Margaret Court for the most grand slam title of all time at 24.

2. The ranking scenarios

Besides a payment of $3,800,000, the winner will also receive 2000 ranking points. Something that will have as big impact on both players.

Osaka is already guaranteed her best-ever ranking when the standings are updated on Monday. As a consequence of her run to the final, she will rise to 12th in the world. Should Osaka prevail on Saturday, she will crack the top 10 and reach a high of seventh. The highest position a Japanese player has held since Kimiko Date back in 1996.

Meanwhile, Williams has secured her return back into the world’s top 20 for the first time since August 2017. She is currently set to rise to 16th, but will rise to 11th with the title. Overtaking sister Venus in the rankings. Williams was ranked as low as 491st in March due to her absence from the tour.

In the year-end rankings, Osaka’s best was 47th at the end of the 2016 season. Although that benchmark is likely to be broken later this year. In contrast, Williams has ended 15 seasons in the top 10, including five where she was the year-end No.1.

3. The first set is key

Both players have proven to be strong front-runners on the tour this season. Neither are yet to lose a match after winning the first set. Williams’ record currently stands at 16-0 and Osaka’s is 31-0.

In the history of the US Open, the last player to fight back from a set down to win the women’s title was Arantxa Sanchez Vicario back in 1994. On that occasion she outlasted Stefi Graf 1–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–4.

Should the match go the full distance, Williams’ experience makes her the clear favourite. She has won 154 out of 213 matches that have gone to three sets. Meanwhile, rising star Osaka has won 14 out of 27 played. In 2018 only, they have both won three out of four three-sets matches they have played.

4. Naomi’s defensive play

The hype surrounding Osaka’s breakthrough run has done little to impede her game. While some might have expected her to falter with nerves, she has proven critics wrong. Illustrated by the 13 break points she saved against Madison Keys in the semifinals.

In total the world No.19 has saved 86% of the break points she has faced (24/28) and won 53% of her return games. To put that into perspective, her percentage for return games won during 2018 has been only 36.1%.

As for Williams, she has saved 17 out of the 23 break points faced so far in the tournament. What it perhaps the most interesting figure for Williams was that the average ranking of her opponent has been 43. That is 26 places higher than her Osaka’s average (69).

5. How the players compare so far in the tournament






Double Faults






Unforced errors



Games won



Sets won



Total time on court

7 hours and 39 minutes

7 hours and 26 minutes

NOTE: Based on matches played between the first round and semi-finals at the 2018 US Open. Data via

The women’s final will get underway at 16:00 local time (21:00 GMT).


Daniil Medvedev Praises Tiebreak Record After Reaching Cincinnati Semis

Daniil Medvedev’s bid for momentum heading into the US Open has continued in Cincinnati.




Daniil Medvedev (@WeeseSports - Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev is into the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time this year after a 7-6(1) 6-3 victory over Taylor Fritz.


The world number one was too resilient for the impressive American as he reached the last four at a Masters 1000 event for the first time this year.

Medvedev had to survive a wall of aggression from Fritz and was forced to save all six points faced before the world number one proved why he is the best player in the world.

After the match Medvedev admitted it was a tricky match but was pleased to reach the last four in Cincinnati, “Cincinnati fast courts and fast balls and I have always liked it. But always tricky matches, especially between two great servers,” Medvedev admitted to the ATP website.

“I feel like me and Taylor served good, even if we aren’t John [Isner] maybe! I knew that it was going to be a tight match. The first set he was on top of me a little bit. He had many more chances than I did on my serve, but I managed to stay in.

“There were some set points where I could have missed and no one would have talked about it, it would have been normal. But I managed to stay in the set and that helped me win the match.”

Medvedev is now 14-4 at the hard court event and clearly enjoys playing in Cincinnati having won the title in 2019 as well as reaching the semi-finals last season.

Another record that Medvedev can boast is that he is 20-6 in tiebreaks at Masters 1000 level this season and that is something he is very proud of, “That is great because tie-breaks are a fine thing,” Medvedev said.

“We call it a lottery and I do think it is this way a little bit. I remember when I had the crazy run in 2019. I think someone told me once that I won a lot of tie-breaks in a row.

“I don’t know if it was eight or 12, so I was like, ‘That is cool.’ I just try to do my best and win every point. You win some and lose some. But 20-6 is a good record, so I am happy about it.”

Medvedev will aim to continue his US Open preparations on Saturday when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas or John Isner in the semi-finals.

Should the Russian win he will reach his fifth final of the season after finals at the Australian Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Halle and Los Cabos.

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Will Rafael Nadal Keep The Grand Slam Winning Feeling Going In New York?

Rafael Nadal has injury doubts heading into his search for a 23rd grand slam title in New York.




Rafael Nadal (@usopen - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal will look to repeat successes from Melbourne and Paris by answering his doubters with triumph in New York.


The Spaniard enters the last grand slam with injury doubts having only just come back from an abdominal injury suffered in his Wimbledon quarter-final against Taylor Fritz.

It was injury that saw his calendar grand slam dream come to an end and ever since then has been recovering in the hopes of finishing the grand slam year strong in New York.

However in his first match back Nadal was defeated in three sets to Borna Coric in New York which has put doubts on whether the Spaniard can be a threat in the US.

Nadal will likely not have to worry about Novak Djokovic but a victory in New York could see him be world number one with current number one Daniil Medvedev defending the title.

The likes of Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas will be standing in Nadal’s way and if the Spaniard isn’t match-fit then he could face an early exit.

However as tennis pundit Barbara Schett pointed out, ruling out Nadal at this stage would be foolish and the Spaniard always raises his level at the grand slams, “The match is always different from practice,” Schett told Eurosport.

“And whoever had an abdominal injury and a tear on the abdominal muscles knows how it feels. You have to be extremely cautious. You’re worried that you’re going to reinjure it again.

“And I think that’s what we’ve seen on Wednesday. When he played against Coric, he was a little bit uncertain how the body was going to hold up. And for sure he’s going to feel better and better.

“If there’s no damage to the abdominal muscle, then he still has a week and a half to improve his health, to improve the trust also that he can extend and he can’t bend on the serve because that’s the trickiest shot, the serve and the smash.

“When that is the case, Rafa Nadal certainly can be dangerous again at the US Open. I mean, he’s so fired up at every single Grand Slam. We’ve seen this year playing the best tennis of his life. You can never, ever write him off.”

Nadal is currently undefeated at grand slams and if fit, the Spaniard will certainly fancy himself to win another seven matches at the US Open this year.

Whatever it should be interesting to see if Nadal improves before the US Open with the tournament starting on the 29th of August.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Quarterfinals Featuring Medvedev/Fritz and Alcaraz/Norrie




Daniil Medvedev this week in Cincinnati (

Friday’s ATP singles quarterfinals feature six of the top 13 players in the world.  By contrast, in the WTA singles draw, the top five seeds have all been eliminated, and only two seeds remain.


Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Taylor Fritz (11) – Not Before 1:00pm on Center Court

Medvedev has earned both his wins this week in straight sets, while Fritz came back from a set down on Thursday to defeat Daniil’s close friend Andrey Rublev.  The 24-year-old American is having the best year of his career, with a record of 35-13.  Taylor is on the verge of breaking into the top 10, and would be even closer to doing so had he received points for his run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals.  He earned his first Masters 1000 title at another North American hard court event earlier this year in Indian Wells.  In their first career meeting, Fritz has the firepower to pull off the upset, especially with a partisan crowd behind him.  But on a hard court, Medvedev remains the favorite to reach his third semifinal in Cincinnati.

Cameron Norrie (9) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Last on Center Court

This will be their fourth meeting within the past year, and thus far, all three have gone to Alcaraz.  That includes straight sets wins at the US Open and Indian Wells, and a three-set victory in Madrid on clay.  As impressive as Norrie has been across the past 18 months, no one has skyrocketed to new heights this past year like Alcaraz.  The 19-year-old is now 44-8 in 2022.  However, the sheer amount of tennis the youngster has played this year is concerning, despite his high level of fitness.  And many of those matches have been grueling, dramatic affairs.  Given his recent history with Norrie, Carlitos should be favored, though an upset by the British No.1 would not be a shocking result.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Madison Keys vs. Elena Rybakina – Keys upset world No.1 Iga Swiatek on Thursday.  Both Keys and Rybakina are yet to drop a set this week.  When they played at this year’s Roland Garros, Madison prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Ajla Tomljanovic (Q) vs. Petra Kvitova – Tomljanovic has survived four consecutive three-setters, going back to the last round of qualifying on Sunday.  Kvitova took out Ons Jabeur on Thursday. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. John Isner – Tsitsipas lead their head-to-head 4-2, and has taken their last four meetings.  Stefanos is vying for his third consecutive semifinal at this event.  Isner was a finalist here in 2013.

Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Caroline Garcia – Pegula is now No.3 in the year-to-date rankings, with a record of 30-15.  However, Garcia has slightly bested that record, as she’s now 32-15 this season.  Jess is 2-1 against Caroline, though the Frenchwoman claimed their only meeting in 2022.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) vs. Borna Coric (Q) – Auger-Aliassime saved two match points on Thursday night in a comeback victory over Jannik Sinner.  Coric followed up his upset of Rafael Nadal by defeating another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.  Felix and Borna split two encounters back in 2019. 

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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