Osaka reached her fourth main ultimate by beating Williams 6-3, 6-Four to stretch her profitable streak to 20 matches.
MELBOURNE, VIC — As soon as once more, Serena Williams got here inside attain of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, taking part in nicely sufficient to get to the closing days of a significant event.
And as soon as once more, Williams could not fairly get it achieved — crushed 6-3, 6-Four by Naomi Osaka within the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday (Wednesday night time EST).
Osaka, who additionally beat Williams within the chaotic 2018 U.S. Open ultimate, reached her fourth main title match and stretched her profitable streak to 20 matches.
The No. 3-seeded Osaka additionally gained the U.S. Open final yr, together with the Australian Open in 2019.
On Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. native time (3:30 a.m. EST), Osaka will meet a first-time Grand Slam finalist for the championship. No. 22 Jennifer Brady of the US was scheduled to face No. 25 Karolina Muchova in Thursday’s second semifinal.
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One males’s semifinal was on Thursday’s schedule: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. Aslan Karatsev, a qualifier from Russia who’s ranked 114th and taking part in in his first Grand Slam event.
Djokovic is looking for a ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam trophy general.
Rafael Nadal — who misplaced within the quarterfinals to Stefanos Tsitsipas after blowing a two-set lead — and Roger Federer are tied for the boys’s document of 20.
Spectators had been again within the stands at Rod Laver Enviornment on Thursday after they had been barred from attending the event for 5 days throughout a neighborhood COVID-19 lockdown. About 7,000 folks had been allowed into the stadium for Williams-Osaka, roughly half of capability.
Ushers walked by way of the aisles at changeovers to remind followers they wanted to put on a masks or over their nostril and mouth.
On the most popular day of the hard-court event to date — 85 levels Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) — Osaka acquired out to a shaky begin, maybe prodded into urgent in her opening service recreation by a booming cross-court backhand return winner from Williams on the match’s second level.
That was adopted by a double-fault, a wild forehand and, finally, a netted backhand that handed over a break. Rapidly, Williams went up 2-0, then held one other break level with an opportunity to guide 3-Zero after one other double-fault by Osaka.
Didn’t take lengthy for Osaka to proper herself, nonetheless.