Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka sweeps past Serena Williams to reach final

Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in straight sets in the Australian Open 2021 semifinals to reach the final. She will face the winner of second semifinal between Karolina Muchova of Czech Republic and Jennifer Brady of the United States for the year's first Grand Slam title.

Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka sweeps past Serena Williams to reach final

World No. 3 Naomi Osaka of Japan extended Serena Williams' wait to break Magaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles, as she defeated the legendary American 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Australian Open final in Melbourne on Thursday (February 18). Osaka posted her 20th consecutive win on course to defeating 10th seeded Serena Williams.

Osaka overcame a disastrous game in the second set when she was broken by Serena, who levelled the score at 4-4. The Japanese star won the next eight points in a row to win the set and the match 6-4. 

The 2019 champion Osaka improved her career record against Serena to 3-1. Osaka, the reigning US Open champion, is playing for a second Australian Open title to boost her tally of Majors to four.

In a rematch of their tumultuous 2018 US Open decider, Osaka underlined her status as the new queen of women’s tennis and soaked up the cheers from the Rod Laver Arena crowd as fans returned to the Grand Slam after a five-day lockdown. 

“I did a lot of unforced errors in the first few games. I was really nervous and scared in the beginning and then I sort of eased my way into it,” said Osaka on court. 

"It’s just always an honour to play her and I just didn`t want to go out really dud. I just wanted to try my best.” 

Williams broke Osaka in the opening game, but the Japanese third seed reeled off five straight games in a devastating display before closing out the set with a blazing forehand winner. 

Osaka took Williams’ serve in the first game of the second set and would not let up until she wobbled with three double-faults to allow the American to break back to 4-4. 

But Williams repaid the favour with a double-fault on the next service game giving Osaka three break points. Osaka converted the first then closed out the match when Williams thudded into the net. 

(with Reuters input)

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