NEW YORK—Kei Nishikori says Naomi Osaka should have a shot against Serena Williams in the final of the US Open.
Nishikori and Osaka are Japan's top-ranked players on the men's and women's tour, respectively, and both reaching the semifinals of the US Open. Osaka's straightforward victory against Madison Keys in the semifinals was good experience for the final, according to Nishikori.
"I think she's going to be fine," he said. "She was really enjoying, playing great tennis all the time. I was really happy she was playing unbelievable tennis."
Osaka will be playing her first Grand Slam final, facing a player she grew up admiring. But Nishikori says Osaka could be competitive if she can keep up her play during the tournament.
"I'm sure she is going to have chance to beat Serena. She's playing different level. I think now she can stay with her," he said. "I'm sure it's different, final and semis. But I hope she can enjoy and play a good level."
Osaka is No. 20 in the rankings.
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