Japanese fourth seed Naomi Osaka reached another US Open final after producing a high-quality performance to edge past American Jennifer Brady.
Osaka, who won the 2018 title, edged an enthralling first set with a dominant tie-break before Brady impressively rallied to force a deciding set. Both maintained a high level at the start of the third before Osaka took control to win 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-3. Osaka, 22, will play Victoria Azarenka in Saturday’s final. Osaka backed up her maiden Grand Slam victory in New York with another triumph at the Australian Open five months later, but then struggled to cope with the increased pressure of being the world’s top-ranked player. Now, after dropping to 10th before the coronavirus pandemic struck, she has returned looking again like a player who could go on to dominate the sport. Osaka has matured as a person and player since her first Grand Slam wins, with new coach Wim Fissette acknowledging this week that her activism against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States has added further fuel to her mission of winning in New York.