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Monday 17 May 2021 at 02:54 AM
LIVE: Osaka crushes Williams in stunning battle to book place in Aus Open final /
Naomi Osaka rebounded from a poor start to beat Serena Williams – her idol – in straight sets to book her place in the Australian Open final.
World No. 3 Osaka beat the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes.
Later today, Novak Djokovic will try to reach his ninth final at Melbourne Park when he takes on miracle man Aslan Karatsev.
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hree-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka fought back from an 0-2 hole and won five straight games, before sealing the first set 6-3 in her semi-final blockbuster clash with Serena Williams.
After being broken in the first game of the match, Osaka found her feet and stunned Williams with a superb display of powerful hitting to book her place in the Australian Open final in straight sets.
The defeat denies 39-year-old Williams the opportunity of playing for her 24th Grand Slam singles title, and repeats Osaka’s incredible victory in the 2018 US Open final, in which she beat Williams 6-2 6-4 to claim her first Grand Slam crown.
The match was billed as a clash between two of the best servers and most powerful hitters in the women’s game, with both superstars entering the long-awaited encounter in unbelievable form.
Surprisingly, both women served poorly throughout the match. Osaka landed just 43 per cent of her first serves in play, while Williams was marginally better with 46 per cent of her first serves in play.
But Osaka was nerveless at crucial moments, winning four break points from as many chances, and staving off five of Williams’ seven break point opportunities to move into her fourth Grand Slam final.
After the match, Osaka conceded she was “nervous and scared in the beginning”.
“Then I sort of eased my way into it. For me, I think the biggest thing is just having fun and it’s the first day having the crowd in a while ... it’s always an honour to play her. I just didn’t want to go out like really bad, so I just wanted to try my best.”
She added: “I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today, but I was a little kid watching her play and just to be on the court playing against her for me is a dream.
“I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned over the years is just like, you know, you’re competitive, you’re playing against another competitor. That itself is the funnest part because tennis is a game.”
He just wanted to make the top 100. Now Aslan is facing world No.1 Djokovic
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