Naomi Osaka

Australian Open 2021: Serena Williams faces Naomi Osaka for place in final

American Williams, 39, has rediscovered her best form at Melbourne Park but faces a tough test against Osaka.

She has not played Osaka at a Grand Slam since the Japanese beat her in a dramatic 2018 US Open final.

The match was overshadowed by Williams' argument with umpire Carlos Ramos.

Williams called the umpire a "thief" after he deducted a point from her, and Osaka was reduced to tears by the crowd booing during the presentation ceremony.

"I think we both have had closure, and we have reached out to each other," Williams said of the match.

Serena crushes Halep to set up Osaka semi-final

The 39-year-old went toe-to-toe with the Romanian second seed over 80 minutes on Rod Laver Arena before she was finally able to move to within two victories of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

Williams hit some ferocious forehands and moved around the court with a freedom that she has not enjoyed for a good while to set up a semi-final meeting against in-form Japanese third seed Osaka.

Top tennis player supports electronic line judges

Triple Grand Slam champion Osaka said it had taken time to get used to the system but would be happy for it to be adopted at other tournaments.

"I feel like for me, it saves me the trouble of attempting to challenge or thinking about, 'Did they call it correctly or not?'" the Japanese third seed said.

"It actually gets me really focused. I don't mind it at all."

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam to dispense with human line judges as part of efforts to reduce personnel and stage a biosecure tournament amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Naomi Osaka beats Victoria Azarenka to win third Grand Slam title

Japanese fourth seed Osaka, 22, won 1-6 6-3 6-3 for her second US Open title.

Osaka was overwhelmed in the first set and was in danger of trailing 3-0 in the second before recovering to win 10 of the next 11 games to take momentum.

Belarusian Azarenka, in her first major final since 2013, was broken for 5-3 in the decider before Osaka served out.

Osaka shrieked with joy as she took her second match point, then calmly lay on the court and stared at the New York sky as she contemplated her latest achievement.

US Open: Naomi Osaka books semifinal showdown against American hope Jennifer Brady

Osaka, the former No 1-ranked played who won the U.S. Open two years ago, played far cleaner tennis than her opponent in a 6-3, 6-4 win over 93rd-ranked Shelby Rogers.

Rogers finished with 27 unforced errors, Osaka with eight.

Earlier, Brady, the 28th seed, defeat Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2.

Brady has never been this far at a major tournament but has split her two previous matches against Osaka, winning in 2014 before the Japanese star squared the ledger four years later.

     

Osaka targets more major glory

Osaka triumphed 6-2 6-4 on Saturday in a final that was overshadowed by a dispute between opponent Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos.

Williams was issued a code violation for what the official deemed to be coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou, irritating the 23-time major champion who insisted she was not a cheat.

A point penalty for racquet abuse led to her branding Ramos a "liar" and a "thief" and she was then docked a game, after which the American called for the match referee and alleged she was being treated differently to male players.