The 39-year-old American, who is aiming at achieving her 24th Grand Slam title was able to best the Romanian at the Australian Open game in Melbourne.
Serena wasn’t happy with the way her form was slipping in the Australian Open quarterfinals more especially after she made a grave mistake against No. 2 seed Simona Halep, which cost her a match last time they played each other.
However, Serena Williams didn’t lose hope and was able to bounce back better than ever after putting on an amazing performance against Halep – using her terrific footwork to overcome 33 unforced errors and later claiming the last five games, beating the Romanian player on Tuesday as reported by USA Today.
“I just realized I was making a lot of unforced errors in those games that I lost. And I knew that I had an opportunity to play better,” said Williams, now two wins away from claiming her record-tying 24th major singles championship. “So I was just like, ‘Just stay in there. You just can keep going.’ And that’s what I just did.”
The win put Serena in the final four at Melbourne Park for the first time since she won the tournament in 2017, which was her most recent Grand Slam title
“I think this is the best match I’ve played this tournament,” said Williams, who moved well and hit 24 winners.
Meanwhile, Japanese third seed Osaka wasn’t without her perks as she was able to best Hsieh Su-wei in just 66 minutes to reach the last four on Tuesday.
Osaka, who won the second of her three Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park in 2019, beat the Taiwanese 6-2 6-2, which landed her in the semi-final spot against Serena come Thursday.
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka to play each other at the Australian Open semi-final
According to BBC, this will be the first meeting between the pair since their infamous 2018 US Open final, which gained a lot of attention after Osaka become the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam, and with Williams accusing the umpire Carlos Ramos of cheating.
At the time, Osaka was able to win her maiden major title against seven-time champion Williams but the match was meant with controversy after Serena accused the umpire of being a “thief”.
With the two facing against each other on Thursday, Osaka must be a little worried about Williams, who displayed top form in her recent match against reigning Wimbledon champion Halep.
As the days grow closer, Osaka, who is considered a match favourite needs to prepare herself for the tough matchup against Serena on Thursday as both fight to take the spot at the finals.
In her game against the Taiwanese, Osaka hit 24 winners, compared to 14 unforced errors, and amassed 12 breakpoints on the Hsieh serve, converting four.
“For me, it was really important to have a plan because she’s an opponent that I’m not really sure what’s going to happen,” said Osaka.
“So just having something to structure myself and not get carried away with what she’s going to do was definitely really important.”
Let’s wait to see what happens when the two meet on Thursday for their semi-final game.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.