Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka powered into the Australian Open final Thursday to stay on track for a fourth Grand Slam title and keep Serena Williams’ dream of a record-equalling 24th major title on hold once more.
The Japanese third seed swept past the American veteran 6-3, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena in front of thousands of fans allowed back in after Melbourne lifted a snap five-day lockdown.
She will face either American Jennifer Brady or Czech Karolina Muchova on Saturday for another Slam title after her success at Flushing Meadows in 2018 and last year, and Melbourne in 2019.
Osaka had a shy, reserved personality in her early years on the WTA Tour. Her former coach Sascha Bajin was initially confused by her personality, saying, “I thought she was a little bit more of a diva because she didn’t talk much.
Osaka never competed on the ITF Junior Circuit, the premier international junior tour, and only played in a small number of junior tournaments at any age level. She instead skipped to the ITF Women’s Circuit and played her first qualifying match in October 2011 on her 14th birthday.
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