Tennis

Naomi Osaka sets up semi-final date with Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka has never lost a Grand Slam after making the quarter-finals and, if all goes to plan at the Australian Open, she will be savouring a fourth Major triumph before her 24th birthday.

The Japanese third seed reached the semi-finals with a clinical 6-2, 6-2 win over Hsieh Su-wei yesterday, attributing her dominance to her success at sticking to a plan rather than relying on her instincts.

"I would say for me today it was really important to have a plan just because she's an opponent that I'm not really sure what's going to happen," Osaka said of Hsieh, who beat her in Miami in 2019. "So just having something to structure myself and not get carried away with what she's going to do was definitely really important."

Osaka will face Serena Williams in the semi-finals tomorrow, after the American overcame world No. 2 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 in an epic duel which saw 52 rallies of five shots or more.

Williams won 30 of them and joked that it had been a "long minute" since she felt she would more often than not walk away from such exchanges with the point.

"I think 1926, the summer of 1926 I think was the last time I felt that," the 39-year-old said with a smile. - REUTERS

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