The seven-time Major champion Mats Wilander has no doubts; Naomi Osaka is the new WTA boss. The young Japanese will play for her fourth Major crown on Saturday against Jennifer Brady, seeking another US Open-Australian Open double and hoping to keep a perfect record in the Major finals.
After her second notable title at the Australian Open 2019, Naomi had struggled to find the right form until the last year's US Open, finding her A-game again and lifting the second New York trophy in three years. Skipping the rest of the season and recharging batteries, the Japanese scored five commanding wins at Melbourne Park in the past two weeks and overpowered Garbine Muguruza to remain on the title course.
Osaka trailed 5-3, 40-15 in the deciding set against the Spaniard before saving those two match points and rattling off four straight games to move over the top and gather a boost ahead of Serena Williams clash. Standing strong, Naomi defeated Serena 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes, playing well in the crucial points to advance into the title match and leave heartbroken Serena empty-handed.
Mats Wilander praised Naomi Osaka following her win over Serena Williams.
"It's not the end for Serena. I think we see those tears because I think she was disappointed in the way she played. I think she had high hopes after a great start.
If she got to 3-0, it could have been 4-0, then 5-0. She was a bit unlucky, and I think she has taken a step in the right direction. For her, this is a bigger loss because she is moving and playing better, and she is still not close to Osaka.
I feel that's where the emotions start - she's probably thinking, 'What do I need to do now?' To me, women's tennis has a new boss; Naomi Osaka has this capacity; she has reached another dimension. I think she is charismatic; she doesn't have much weakness, despite her ups and downs.
She can improve on the percentage of first serves. She sometimes sprays too many mistakes, but I was also impressed when she has to play well; she plays like a champion when she has to serve well. I'm very confident she will win more Majors.
Osaka will be the clear favorite in the final; it wouldn't be honest to say the opposite. You always have to be careful - Brady was nervous in the semi-final clash because it was a huge opportunity; it's going to be completely different in the final.
Naomi Osaka is completely ready; physically and mentally, she has proved how strong she is. In my opinion, she is the favorite to win the title," Mats Wilander said.