Naomi Osaka Tells U.S. Open Final Foe Serena Williams, ‘I Love You’

If Naomi Osaka was trying to charm Serena Williams before their U.S. Open final match on Saturday, it was a damn good attempt.

Osaka had just dispatched Madison Keys in a semifinal Thursday night and explained that she was able to fend off 13 break points by thinking of one thing: “I just really want to play Serena.”

Asked if she had a message for Williams, the six-time U.S. Open champ and winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Osaka came up with a beauty.

“I love you,” she giggled.

Osaka, playing in her first Grand Slam final, also had a more serious take on her upcoming match against her childhood idol.

“Even when I was a little kid, I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam,” she said, per the Independent. “Just the fact that it’s happening, I’m very happy about it. At the same time I feel like even though I should enjoy this moment, I should still think of it as another match. I shouldn’t really think of her as my idol. I should just try to play her as an opponent.”

Williams may be seeking a bit of revenge. Osaka swept Williams in straight sets at the Miami Open in March, less than seven months after Williams gave birth to her daughter.