Australian Open day 11 preview: Williams vs Osaka headlines semi-finals

Serena Williams headlines an exciting day of Australian Open semi-finals, as she faces off against third-seed Naomi Osaka.

Williams overcame second seed Simona Halep in the quarter-finals in straight sets, while Osaka took down unseeded Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei.

Williams last reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open back in 2017, where she went on to win the tournament, her last Grand Slam victory.

A win here would put her in within touching distance of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

But beating Osaka will be far from a given, as the 23-year-old Japanese won the Australian Open in 2019, and beat Williams in the final of the 2018 US Open to claim her first Grand Slam.

The other semi-final sees Karolina Muchova, who knocked out tournament favourite Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals, take on American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady.

It’s a big day in the men’s singles too, as Novak Djokovic continues his hunt for a ninth Australian Open title.

The Serb faces off against unseeded surprise package Aslan Karatsev, who has overcome Diego Schwartzmann, Felix Auger Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov on his way.

Djokovic is a whole other level, however, and the first seed will be high on confidence after defeating Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

It would doubtless be one of the biggest upsets in tennis history if Karatsev were to take down Djokovic, although the World No.1 has struggled at points in the tournament with injury.

The quarter-finals of the mixed doubles will also be worth keeping an eye on, as Britons Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski face off against each other.

The first men’s doubles semi-final kicks off too, featuring three Croatian players.

Second seed pair Mate Pavic and Nicola Mektic take on fellow countryman Ivan Dodik, who is partnered with Slovak star Filip Polasek.

Their partners are American Desirae Krawczyk and Slovenian Andreja Klepač respectively.

To check out all of SWL’s Australian Open coverage, click here.

Featured image credit: Charlie Cowens via Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0

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