Australian Open review day 11: Osaka eases past Williams to reach final

Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams 6-3, 6-4 to earn her place in the final of the Australian Open on Saturday and a chance at a second crown at the Rod Laver Arena.

Williams was tearful post-match and the 39-year-old, 23-time Grand Slam winner indicated that this may be her last time playing in Melbourne.

Osaka was at her impressive best, as she continued her incredible unbeaten run that is now at 20 matches.

The Japanese third seed has also never lost a Grand Slam final, winning all three that she has been in so far, as she enters the final against Jennifer Brady as the heavy favourite.

The 22nd seeded American defeated Karolina Muchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and is in her first major final.

The two have met before, in last year’s US Open semi-final, which Osaka won 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, suggesting that it may well be a closer final than many have already predicted.

In the men’s draw, eight-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic was imperious as he defeated qualifier Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

The World No.1 eased into his ninth Australian Open final, where he will face the winner of Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who face each other in the other semi-final tomorrow.

Djokovic took control of the match early on and a potential fightback late in the second set from Karatsev was quickly defused by the Serb, who earned a two-set cushion and all but ruled out the chance of a comeback.

In the mixed doubles, Brit Joe Salisbury and his partner Desirae Krawczyk of the USA defeated fellow Brit Neal Skupski and Andreja Klepac of Slovenia 6-3, 6-4 to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals.

The pair will face the all Australian duo of Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden on Court three tomorrow. 

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

Image credit: Peter Menzel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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