Unlike at Flushing Meadows previous year, where Osaka won her first Grand Slam title, there were no fiery exchanges with the umpire, no smashed rackets, no point or game penalties - just a rock-solid performance from Williams.
Serena Williams rallied to avoid a stunning upset and secure a 1-6 6-3 6-3 semi-final win over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova at the Rogers Cup on Saturday, setting up a title showdown with local teenager Bianca Andreescu.
"We haven't played since NY which was a really good match for her and I just wanted to come out and try to win a set this time because she's beaten me twice so I just wanted to do the best I could today", Williams said in an on-court interview.
Many fails hailed it as the best match that Williams has played in her comeback. That was very kind of her to say mom.
Williams has 23 Grand Slams. Williams was penalized for illegal coaching, breaking her racket and verbal abuse, and later suggested that the umpire's actions were motivated by sexism.
Osaka was having fun before her rematch with Serena, having scored a win over fast-rising Iga Swiatek in the round of 16 and benefiting from a second-set retirement in her first round.
Osaka said she played too defensively - something she said was hard to avoid when Williams was hitting 31 winners. "This debacle ruined something that should have been fantastic and historic".More news: Mosquito-Borne West Nile Virus Soared in 2018, According to CDC Data
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There was a scary moment in the second set when the American ran into the net post while trying to chase down an Osaka drop shot but, despite nursing her right arm, Williams confirmed that no serious damage had been done.
"So in a weird way, losing today, I accomplished my dream".
"I honestly don't really think there was ups and downs", Osaka said. "I know that can't be helped when I'm playing against her".
"I think in the first set we were kind of just serving it out, and then I was the one that - I don't even think I dipped. So this is such a big learning experience for me".
Osaka's form fell off a cliff after taking number one with the Australian Open title and she later conceded the pressure had been tough to handle.
Andreescu advanced to a semi-final clash with American Sofia Kenin, who defeated Ukraine sixth seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
Williams will face the victor of the quarter-final match between Simona Halep and Marie Bouzková, in the last four.