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Australian Open: Naomi Osaka Beat Serena Williams In Straight Sets To Reach Final

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Naomi Osaka has claimed an impressive victory over Serena Williams to reach the Australian Open final and end the American’s latest quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

On Friday, on Rod Laver court in Melbourne, Australia, the 22-year-old three-time Slam champion beat her 39-year-old opponent 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.

Serena started in a confident mood, breaking Osaka to take a 2-0 lead but Osaka regrouped the next five games. Serena held serve for 5-3 but Osaka served out the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

Osaka broke Serena at the beginning of the second set, forcing her opponent into errors with big and deep forehands.

With the crowd allowed back into Melbourne Park, record-chasing Serena fed off their energy to level the second game at 4-4 but she destroyed all that good work by immediately handing the initiative and momentum back to Osaka with a double fault.

The Japanese served the match out at the first attempt and she will either face America’s Jennifer Brady or Czech’s Karolina Muchova in Saturday’s final.

She is now on a 20-match unbeaten streak and has never lost a Slam final.

Speaking after her impressive victory, Osaka said;

I hit a lot of unforced errors in the first few games. I was really nervous and scared in the beginning and then I eased my way into it. For me the biggest thing is to just have fun. It’s just always an honor to play her and I just wanted to try my best.

It is the first time Williams has lost a semi-final at Australian Open in eight appearances in the last four.

Read Also: Tennis: Naomi Osaka Breaks Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova Record To Become Highest-Paid Female Athlete In History

Osaka and Williams‘ last meeting at a Grand Slam came at the US Open final in 2018 – a match remembered for Williams’ outburst at the umpire and Osaka’s tears at the presentation ceremony.

Read Also: Naomi Osaka Becomes First Japanese Woman To Win US Open After Beating Idol Serena Williams

Since then, Osaka has won a further two major titles and risen to third in the world rankings, as well as finding more confidence and calmness on court.

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