Melbourne, Australia, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Japan’s Naomi Osaka beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-4 Thursday in the Australian Open in the semifinals, breaking her serve four times in a tennis match that lasted an hour and 15 minutes.
It was called to be a duel between similar styles, since both players base their game on extreme aggressiveness, at a Rod Laver Arena with a small audience in attendance for the first time in five days, after the end of the confinement that affected the city of Melbourne.
“It is always an honor to play against her and I am very happy to have the public again,” said Osaka after reaching the final in Melbourne Park for the second time, in which she will face American Jennifer Brady.
Brady beat Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in an exciting semifinal match. She won the game despite winning fewer overall points than her rival, committing more unforced errors and landing fewer winners against a rival who posted her best Grand Slam performance.
“I cannot feel my legs. They are trembling and my heart is in a fist,” she said at the end of a last game, which lasted 12 minutes, in which the North American missed up to four match points on serve.
In the men’s draw, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic played flawless tennis to end qualifier Aslan Karatsev’s miracle run to the semifinals and make his ninth final appearance with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The Serb looked fresh compared to his last couple of matches and never looked in real danger despite Karatsev making a spirited comeback attempt in the second set from 5-1 to 5-4.
“This is the best I’ve felt in the entire tournament, felt great, I could swing through the ball, no pain,” Djokovic said during his post-match interview, congratulating his opponent for his feat.
“We need to give [Karatsev] a hand, huge congratulations on his debut.”
Djokovic will play the winner of the Friday semifinal match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev. EFE-EPA