Daily US Times: Naomi Osaka claimed an impressive victory against Serena Williams to reach the Australian Open final and end Ms Williams’ latest quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
Three-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka withstood early pressure from Williams to win 6-3 6-4.
The Japanese is on a 20-match unbeaten streak and she has never lost a Slam final.
Osaka will face Jennifer Brady in Saturday’s Australian Open final after the American beat Karolina Muchova.
Brady came past the Czech 6-4 3-6 6-4 to seal a spot in her first Slam final.
It will be a rematch of the 2020 US Open semi-final, which Naomi Osaka came through in three sets.
Osaka said of her match with Williams: “I was really nervous and scared in the beginning and then I sort of eased my way into it,”
“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,” she said.
It is the first time Serena Williams has lost a semi-final at the Australian Open in eight appearances in the last four.
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka’s 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.
Since then, Osaka has risen to third in the world rankings and won a further two major title, as well as finding more confidence and calmness on court.