Naomi Osaka has stopped Serena Williams’ latest bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title in the Australian Open semifinals.
Osaka reached her fourth major final by beating Williams 6-3, 6-4 to stretch her winning streak to 20 matches.
Williams grabbed the first two games before Osaka took control with a five-game run. Osaka broke Williams to begin the second set and was on her way. Apart from a minor hiccup in a service game, Naomi held her nerve to cross the finish line.
“I was just guessing”: Naomi Osaka on handling Williams’ serve
“I hit a lot of unforced errors in the first few games, I was just really nervous and scared,” said Osaka, who reeled off five games in a row in the opening set after going 2-0 down.”, she said in the post match-intyerview.
“But then I sort of eased my way into it and the biggest thing for me was having fun.”
When asked about her her idol, Serena, she said: “I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today but when 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 a competitor you’re playing against another competitor and that itself is the funniest part because tennis is a game“, she added.
Serena’s serve is one of the toughest thing to tackle in women’s tennis but Osaka almost knew where it was going at times. She was asked the same to which she replied laughing: “I was just guessing. I don’t know, it’s either going this way or that way. I just got to put my foot somewhere.”
“It really depends whether you’re super hard-headed or not“, she said on whether experience matters or not.
She will play Jennifer Brady in the final. It will be Brady’s first grand slam final.
“I feel like everyone’s just really excited whenever they play their first final but they’re also really nervous. So don’t want to wish nerves on someone but hopefully one of them gets nervous.“, she laughed.