Serena Williams’ quest for twenty-four Grand Slams, and tying Margaret Court’s file, will proceed after the American was handed a 6-3, 6-4 loss by the No. 3 seed Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals.
Things began out properly for Williams, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead and seemed poised to make one other Australian Open remaining. But then, Osaka settled down.
“I hit a lot of unforced errors in the first few games and I was just really like nervous and scared I think in the beginning, and I eased my way into it,” Osaka instructed ESPN’s — and two-time Aussie Open winner himself — Jim Courier on the courtroom after the match.
“Honestly for me, I don’t know, it’s just always an honor to play her and I just didn’t want to go out, like, really bad, so I just wanted to try my best.”
Well, Osaka positively introduced her A-game. While nearly all of the stats confirmed an excellent match-up, Osaka dominated in winners with 20 to Williams’ 12. Both gamers struggled with their first serves, and Osaka had eight double faults (Williams had one), however the 23-year-old additionally had six aces, with quite a few them coming at key instances.
At her post-match press conference, Williams, who was taking part in in her fortieth Grand Slam semifinal, cited her errors — 18 pressured, 24 unforced — because the turning level.
“The difference today was errors,” she mentioned. “I made so many errors today, so, honestly, it was opportunities where I could have won. I could have been up 5-Love. I just made so many errors.”
When requested a couple of questions later what triggered the errors or if it was only a dangerous day, Williams broke down.
“I don’t know,” she mentioned earlier than including, showing on the verge of tears, “I’m done.” She then left the press conference.
Prior to the final query, Wiliams, who turned 39 in September, was requested about why, when she walked off the courtroom, she put her hand to her coronary heart.
“I don’t know. The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see,” she responded. Melbourne had been in a five-day lockdown and Wednesday was the primary time followers had been allowed again into Melbourne Park.
However, social media instantly reacted to the gesture and contemplated whether or not this meant it was her final journey Down Under.
“I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,” she mentioned smiling
It’s been somewhat greater than 4 years since Williams received a Grand Slam; she beat sister Venus on the Australian Open in 2017. She’s received one event since: the Auckland Classic in 2020.
“I was a little kid watching her play and just to be on the court playing against her for me is a dream,” Osaka said to Courier.
Wednesday’s marquee assembly marked the fourth time the 2 stars have met on the tennis courtroom. Williams’ lone win was at Canada’s Rogers Cup in 2019. Osaka’s earlier wins had been on the 2018 Miami Open and the 2018 U.S. Open. That Grand Slam assembly noticed Osaka, who’s 16 years Williams’ junior, win her first title. Her win, nonetheless, was marred by a verbal altercation between Williams and the chair umpire through the match that noticed her get three on-court violations and Osaka in tears on the finish as boos rained down on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I know that everybody was cheering for her,” she mentioned. “I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match.”
According to Williams, the pair have put the Open behind them.
“I think we both have had closure, and we have reached out to each other,” mentioned Williams after her quarterfinal match at Melbourne Park. “I have definitely reached out.
“I believe she’s an important competitor and she or he’s a cool cat.”
Osaka will now play in her fourth career Grand Slam final — and she’s never lost. She has trophies from two U.S. Opens (2018, 2020) and one in Australia (2019). She’ll face off against another American in the final, No. 22 Jennifer Brady who defeated Karolina Muchova in three sets. The pair went the distance in the semis at the 2020 U.S. Open.
Sporting News had all the scoring updates and highlights from Naomi Osaka’s straight-set win in the women’s singles semifinal at the 2021 Australian Open.
(3) Naomi Osaka def. (10) Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-4
(All times are Eastern)
Second set: Osaka wins 6-4
Osaka wins 6-4
Osaka serving to close it out and begins with an ace. She then serves into the body and Williams’ return goes wide. On the next serve, she goes wide, and Williams sends the mis-hit off court. Now matchpoint and after a short rally, Williams hits the backhand into the net and it’ll be Osaka in the final.
Osaka leads 5-4
Wow. What a cut by Osaka as she finds a ridiculous cross-court angle to go up 0-30. Williams then double faults to give Osaka three break point chances. Osaka only needs one as she again nails the backhand winner — this time an approach shot — cross-court.
Set tied 4-4
A shaky game for Osaka as she double faults twice and hands Williams three break points. She saves the first one as Williams sends a shot long and then gets Williams’ defensive backhand to go long to save the second. But then, Osaka double faults as the serve down the line is wide.
Osaka leads 4-3
Williams responds with her own five-point service game that started with a backhand winner down the line into the open court and ended with Osaka sending the backhand return long.
Osaka leads 4-2
Well, that was a way to turn off the Serena surge. Osaka wins in five points and finishes the game with another ace — No. 5 of the match.
Osaka leads 3-2
Trying to get back into things, Williams rips a forehand winner and lets out a yell as the crowd cheers — clearly behind her — to get the game to 15-all. She then gets Osaka to hit the ball into the net and once again looks around, as if to say: Why can’t I do that on every point? Williams then gets up to 40-15 and closes the game out as Osaka hits the forehand into the net.
Osaka leads 3-1
After double faulting to make it 40-30, and then missing on her first serve, Osaka closes out the game with a big-time forehand winner down the line.
Osaka leads 2-1
We’re back on serve as Williams runs through a game in five points — including one ace and one serve that Osaka couldn’t get back.
Osaka leads 2-0
Williams with a backhand return winner to get it to 30-15 (Osaka serving) and it sounds like the crowd is behind the American. Osaka responds with an ace down the T and then an ace out wide. She’s definitely feeling that serve now.
Osaka leads 1-0
Williams with a big-time forehand behind Osaka to get things to 15-all and she yells out: ‘Make a shot.” Williams getting extra vocal however faces break level. Osaka closes out a 10-point rally with a backhand winner and takes Game No. 1.
First set: Osaka wins 6-3
Osaka wins 6-3
Serving to shut out the set, Osaka dominates and controls play as she wants simply 5 factors to take the sport and the set. She wanted simply 38 minutes to shut issues out; reminder — she trailed 2-0 to begin.
Osaka leads 5-3
Williams fires off her second ace of the set to get to 30-0 and closes issues out with a serve that Osaka barely will get her racquet head on to cease the bleeding (Osaka had received 5 straight video games).
Osaka leads 5-2
A 1-2-3-4 sport for Osaka that included an ace and Williams mis-hitting the return on sport level. Williams had an opportunity to go up a double break in Game 4 however could not end and can now serve to remain in the set.
Osaka leads 4-2
OK. Osaka has positively settled in. Off an extended rally, she hits the backhand winner down the road and will get two break factors herself. She finishes off the sport with one other forehand winner.
Osaka leads 3-2
Osaka appears to be settling in as she once more wails a forehand winner to get the service sport to 30-all. However, she follows it up with an unforced error and offers Williams one other break level alternative. The 23-year-old will get it to deuce as she will get Williams on the defensive and finishes with a backhand strategy winner. Osaka takes the set lead (deuce No. 2) after Williams’ forehand goes off the tape and broad.
Set tied 2-2
Another sport that goes to deuce (after Williams had a pair of break factors) and Williams will get the benefit (and one other break level probability) off an incredible cross-court working backhander that Osaka cannot get again on the courtroom. Osaka, nonetheless, will get it again to deuce with a forehand rip that simply catches the road after which will get a break level probability. Williams ultimately sends a forehand lengthy and we’re again on serve.
Williams leads 2-1
Williams with one other break level probability however Osaka will get it to deuce after which will get out of bother successful the following two factors — the sport level with an ace down the T.
Williams leads 2-0
Williams begins off her first service sport firing off an ace. Two factors later, Williams will get Osaka to play a defensive shot and the spry 39-year-old hits the swinging volley in the open courtroom to go up 40-0. Williams closes issues out regardless of solely getting one first serve in.
Williams leads 1-0
Osaka serves to begin and the telecast stories she struggled to seek out her toss throughout warmups. She then proceeds to double fault to make it 15-30 earlier than hitting a shot broad to offer Williams an early break alternative. Osaka saves the primary break level however then hits a backhand in the web on the following level to offer Williams the break.
10:16 p.m. — Match begins with Osaka serving.
10:10 p.m. — Warm-ups underway. Osaka, by the way in which, has received 19 straight matches. Serena has received her final 12 matches in opposition to a participant in the highest 3 at Grand Slams (final loss was to No. 1 Justine Henin on the 2007 U.S. Open).
10:07 p.m. — Players stroll out. Osaka takes all of it in as there are some followers in the stands.