CAPE TOWN – We’ve seen the ‘Serena Slam’, but now Serena Williams has a chance to go right to the top of the Grand Slam world.
Regarded already by many as the greatest female tennis player ever – and one of the best across the women’s and men’s games – Williams will go into Saturday’s US Open final against Naomi Osaka of Japan on the cusp of history.
Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most in the Open era (since April 1968) and made up of seven Australian Opens, three French Opens, seven Wimbledons and six US Opens.
But the overall list is still headed by Margaret Court of Australia, who claimed 24 titles between 1960 and 1973.
Williams had a previous chance to draw level with Court, when she reached the Wimbledon final this year.
German Angelique Kerber was in fine form on the day, though, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-3. Before that, Williams had lost six other finals.
So, will she get across the line against Osaka?
History has been made! @Naomi_Osaka_ is the first Japanese 🇯🇵 woman to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era after defeating M. Keys 6-2, 6-4!
Tune into @espn tomorrow at 4pm ET for the championship match!https://t.co/xeJIQYuoQV pic.twitter.com/V409dSEDOs
The 20-year-old, who has a Japanese mother and a father from Haiti, endeared herself to the Flushing Meadows crowd by saying “I love you” to Serena.
But Osaka beat Williams in their only match so far in March, so there’s no doubt that she has a chance of pulling off an upset...
.@SerenaWilliams is back! The six-time #USOpen champion scored a 6-3, 6-0 win over Sevastova in the SF's on Thursday.
Get your 🎟's for the Women's Final: https://t.co/Gi90Y4hBTH pic.twitter.com/xSxBkqAljX
Most Women’s Grand Slam Singles Titles
24: Margaret Court (Australia)
23: Serena Williams (USA)
22: Steffi Graf (Germany)
19: Helen Wills Moody (USA)
18: Chris Evert (USA), Martina Navratilova
12: Billie Jean King (USA)
9: Maureen Connolly (USA), Monica Seles (Serbia/USA)
8: Suzanne Lenglen (France), Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (Norway/USA)