Naomi Osaka has just defeated Serena Williams to deny her a shot at record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the 2021 Australian Open.
Osaka who hasn’t lost an official match since last February, put together a dominating performance in the Australian Open semifinals, beating Williams 6-3, 6-4 and ending hopes that the 39-year old American would tie Margaret Court’s all-time Slam record at this tournament.
Osaka, who also beat Williams in the 2018 US Open final, has now reached her fourth major title match and stretched her winning streak to 20 matches by claiming the last eight points.
“I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today, but I was a little kid watching her play,” Osaka, 23, said about Williams, 39, “and just to be on the court playing against her, for me, is a dream.
Osaka will face either No. 25 seed Karolina Muchova or 22nd-seeded American Jennifer Brady in the final.
“I could have won. I could have been up 5-love,” said Williams, who instead took a 2-0 lead at the outset before dropping the next five games. “I just made so many errors.”
“Too many mistakes there,” she said. “Easy mistakes.”