As Serena Williams sought to reach a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, the former world No. 1 in women's single tennis fell again in the hands of a familiar foe as she was defeated once again by Naomi Osaka, 6-3, 6-4, in the Australian Open Semifinals.
Naomi Osaka, ranked No. 3 by the Women's Tennis Association, is also the first Asian player to rank in singles. She also beat Williams in the chaotic 2018 U.S. Open Finals.
The Japanese professional tennis player had reached the fourth major title match in her career. She also stretched her winning streak to 20 games as she claimed the last eight points.
According to ESPN, during an interview, the 23-year-old Osaka shared that she was already watching Williams play when she was just a little kid, so being on the same court and playing against her was a dream come true for her.
Osaka will be facing the 22nd-seeded American Jennifer Brady for the championship match on Saturday. The 25-year-old American professional tennis player had beaten no. 25 Karolina Muchova in the other semifinals bracket, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Brady claimed an astonishing 18 points in her last game to reach her first Grand Slam final. She dropped to her back at the baseline after she saved a trio of breakpoints and converted her fifth match point after Muchova sent a forehand long.
In a post-game interview and realizing her first Grand Slam finals appearance, Brady shared that her legs are shaking and her heart is racing.
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Last September, Brady lost to Osaka in a three-set thriller during the semifinal round of the U.S. Open. Noting Brady's comment, Osaka shared that everyone's only excited whenever they are about to play their first finals but also really nervous.
The No. 3 seeded Osaka got her Grand Slam collection, including the 2019 Australian Open and U.S. Open last year. Some experts do not doubt that she is the most dangerous female hard-court player in today's game, The Guardian reported.
Williams used to be in Osaka's place. However, during their match, Williams was off target, as she finished with twice as many unforced errors compared to her opponent.
Even Williams herself admitted that she could have won and could have been up 5-love, but there are just too many errors on her side.
Some experts noticed that her forehand specifically went awry. Williams stated that the errors she had made were just easy mistakes.
Due to the unforced errors that she committed, Williams's frustration is visible even in the early part of the second set wherein she screamed after not making some shots, Tennis Magazine reported.
Williams achieved her 23rd Slam singles trophy while being pregnant in 2017. After that, Williams could not translate her four major finals even into a single trophy that would have put her beside Margaret Court, tied with the most singles title at 24 apiece.