23-year-old Naomi Osaka has beaten Serena Williams in the semifinals of the Australian Open 6-3, 6-4 and will now face Jennifer Brady in the final.
Serena Williams’ long quest for a 24th Grand Slam title will have to wait. Because once again, the best player in women’s tennis stood in her way.
Naomi Osaka, who hasn’t lost an official match since last February, put together a dominating performance in the Australian Open semifinals, beating Williams 6-3, 6-4 and ending hopes that the 39-year old American would tie Margaret Court’s all-time Slam record at this tournament.
Osaka, seeking her fourth major title and second Australian Open championship, will play American Jennifer Brady, the No. 22 seed.
Williams had to put together a fantastic tournament before the semifinals, beating No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 2 Simona Halep and flying around the court with more speed and flexibility than she had displayed in several years.
But in the semifinals, Williams struggled to deal with the power off the ground Osaka was able to generate and finished the match with 23 unforced…