Naomi Osaka Halts Serena Williams’s Run and Heads to the Australian Open Final
Melbourne, Australia – For the second time in two consecutive Hardcourt Grand Slam competitions, Serena Williams, who followed Margaret Court’s record of 24 major singles titles, ended up in the semi-finals at the hands of a former world No.1.
On Thursday, it was Naomi Osaka who extinguished Williams’ bang through the Australian Open, defeating her 6-3. Defeat 6-4.
Williams suffered a loss five months after taking the first set but was topped at the United States Open by Victoria Azarenka. Despite 39-year-old Williams going to court, Williams was unable to keep pace with 23-year-old Osaka, a three-time Grand Slam champion. A winning streak of 20 matches.
Osaka finished with 20 winners by 12 from Williams, who left the Rod Laver Arena court for a standing ovation from the spectators, who returned to Melbourne Park on Thursday after a five-day lockout. He accepted the ovation while waving to the crowd and placing his hands on his heart.
In the final, Osaka will face the winner of the match between Jennifer Brady of the United States and Carolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.
Williams’ last Grand Slam title came at the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while being two months pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian. Since his return to competition in 2018 following a difficult delivery, which included complications stemming from C-section deliveries and blood clots, Williams has played 11 Grand Slam tournaments and reached the semi-finals or finals in six.
Australian player Samantha Stosur, who won the only Grand Slam singles title after defeating Williams in the final of the US Open in 2011, said Williams was on the court to achieve her status as the greatest player in the history of women’s sports Or there was no need to go beyond that. .
“I think many players will think in advance and debate the fact whether it is the 24th title or not,” Stosur said on Thursday.
For the past four years, as Williams has it, she was focused on Thursday and is now paying attention to circumstances when she was so close to the milestones that she could hear her name. History of the game.
“It’s certainly not easy,” said Patrick Mouratoglou, who has coached Williams since 2012.
He said: “The only way is to focus on how to get what you want. You don’t think about what you want, you just think about what you have to do. “
In the first set, Williams did not record a winner on the forehand of his strongest side. Ten of his 16 unused errors (against four winners) came on that wing. His frustration quickly boiled over in the second set, and he shouted to himself, “Make some shots!”
Against Osaka, Williams knew he had to do better in the fourth round against Aryan Sabalenka and in the quarter-finals against former world No.1 Simona Halep. After Hallep was beaten, Williams warned of the disappearance of his 136-mph weapon.
“Where is it?” he said. “It’s tearing me apart.”
Considered the most formidable in the history of women’s tennis, Williams’ service continued to drag him down rather than raise to easy scores. And unlike Halep, Osaka was able to bounce off Williams ‘safe offers and convert Williams’ service game into a defensive stand. Osaka broke Williams four times, including two in the first set.
Whenever she goes to the second week of a major tournament, Osaka has been an impossible thing. He holds a 4–0 record in the Grand Slam semi-finals and has won the championship in his last three trips to the finals.