for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Factbox: Naomi Osaka v Victoria Azarenka

(Reuters) - A look at the key facts and records of Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka before their U.S. Open final on Saturday (prefix number denotes seeding):

FILE PHOTO: Sep 10, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits the ball against Jennifer Brady of the United States in the women's singles semifinals match on day eleven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

4-NAOMI OSAKA

Age: 22

WTA ranking: 9 (Highest ranking: 1)

Grand Slam titles: 2 (Australian Open 2019; U.S. Open 2018)

Career WTA titles: 5

2019 U.S. Open performance: Fourth round

Best U.S. Open performance: Winner (2018)

ROAD TO FINAL

First round: Misaki Doi (Japan) 6-2 5-7 6-2

Second round: Camila Giorgi (Italy) 6-1 6-2

Third round: Marta Kostyuk (Ukraine) 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2

Fourth round: 14-Anett Kontaveit (Estonia) 6-3 6-4

Quarter-finals: Shelby Rogers (U.S.) 6-3 6-4

Semi-finals: 28-Jennifer Brady (U.S.) 7-6(1) 3-6 6-3

The Japanese former champion, like her opponent Azarenka, has an unbeaten record since tennis resumed after the novel coronavirus shutdown and goes into her third Grand Slam final for a shot at a second title at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka, who has shown her anti-racism activism through different facemasks in each match, faces a test of mental strength against a revitalised Azarenka, who stunned third seed Serena Williams with a come-from-behind semi-final victory.

VICTORIA AZARENKA

Age: 31

WTA ranking: 27 (Highest ranking: 1)

Grand Slam titles: 2 (Australian Open 2012, 2013)

Career WTA titles: 21

2019 U.S. Open performance: First round

Best U.S. Open performance: Runner-up (2012, 2013)

ROAD TO FINAL

First round: Barbara Haas (Austria) 6-1 6-2

Second round: 5-Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) 6-1 6-3

Third round: Iga Swiatek (Poland) 6-4 6-2

Fourth round: 20-Karolina Muchova (Czech Republic) 5-7 6-1 6-4

Quarter-finals: 16-Elise Mertens (Belgium) 6-1 6-0

Semi-finals: 3-Serena Williams (U.S.) 1-6 6-3 6-3

After a journey of setbacks and challenges, the 31-year-old Azarenka is back in a Grand Slam final following a seven-year absence from the showpiece match at a major.

The unseeded Belarusian, who was not widely considered among the contenders for the top prize, will look to add another title to her tally after her success at the Western & Southern Open last month -- Azarenka’s first title in four years.

HEAD TO HEAD: Osaka leads 2-1

2019 Osaka d Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3 (French Open, clay)

2018 Osaka d Azarenka 6-0 6-3 (Rome, clay)

2016 Azarenka d Osaka 6-1 6-1 (Australian Open, hard)

Compiled by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Ken Ferris

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up