Australian Open 2021 - Naomi Osaka wins through to final after ruthlessly seeing off Serena Williams
Naomi Osaka is into the Australian Open final as she bids to win her second Melbourne Grand Slam title. The unprecedented 2021 edition of the Australian Open runs from February 8 until February 21 and Eurosport has all the best action from Melbourne. You can watch the first Grand Slam of the new season live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
Highlights: Clinical Osaka ends Serena run and reaches final
'Huge goodbye' - Is this Serena's final farewell moment?
After a bright start from Serena where a visibly nervous Osaka was broken in the opening game, the number three seed got into her signature big-hitting rhythm.
With Serena’s mistiming her forehands, Osaka fought back from 2-0 down to win five games in a row - then another after one Serena service game to take it in 38 minutes.
'I was just guessing!' - Osaka with funny response to beating Serena
Into the second set and it was Osaka who would break in the opening game with a devastating backhand that encapsulated her ability to force Serena into a runaround.
Serena was growing visibly frustrated at this point and tried to use the energy of the crowd to fire her up.
Williams improved at soaking up Osaka's power, but the 23-year-old's forehand was still proving too strong for the 39-year-old playing in her 40th Grand Slam semi-final.
At 4-3 down in the second, Serena broke back with Osaka double faulting after recovering two break points.
But in the very next game a Serena double fault gave Osaka three break points. Osaka clinched it with a glorious backhand which she viciously whipped over the net before serving out the match.
'I'm done' - Serena exits press conference in tears
Osaka: I hope my final opponent gets nervous!
“I hit a lot of unforced errors in the first few games," she said post-match.
"I was really nervous and scared in the beginning and then I eased my way into it. For me the biggest thing is to just have fun and it is the first day having a crowd in a while.
“Honestly for me it is just an honour to play her and I didn’t want to go out really bad so I just tried my best.
“I was a little kid watching her play and just to be on the court against her for me is a dream. The biggest thing I’ve learnt over the last few years is just be competitive but you are playing against another competitor. That in itself is the funnest part because tennis is a game.
“It depends if [having experience playing in grand slam finals] you are really hard-headed or not. I feel like everyone is really excited when they play they’re first final but they’re also really nervous.
'She sends really weird images' - Osaka jokes about her sister
“I don’t want to wish nerves on someone but hopefully one of them [the winner of Brady vs Muchova] gets nervous!
For the past three weeks I’ve been eating Japanese food on the day before my matches and yesterday I decided to eat Greek food so then I went to sleep. And I woke up and Tsitsipas beat Nadal so I thought ‘maybe this is a sign!'