‘Playing Serena is always an honour,’ says Naomi Osaka as she reaches Australian Open final

Naomi Osaka is the first confirmed finalist at the 2021 Australian Open after a straight sets demolition of Serena Williams.

The highly anticipated semi-final match was expected to be more like a final with the two strongest players left in the competition facing off against each other.

Osaka started nervously, losing her serve and going two games down but seemed to find her rhythm winning four games in a row and taking the first set comfortably.

The second set was closer, with both players breaking each others serve, but Osaka was just too strong for Williams, eventually winning the match 6-3, 6-4.

In her post-match interview, Osaka, who is looking for her fourth Grand Slam title,  admitted to feeling nervous but was full of respect for Williams, her self-confessed idol.

“I was really nervous and scared in the beginning and then I sort of eased my way into it” said Osaka.

“It’s always an honour to play her and I didn’t want to go out really bad. I just wanted to try my best.

“I don’t know if there’s any little kids here today but I was a little kid, watching her play, and playing on court against her is a dream.”

Asked about her potential opponent in the final, either Jenifer Brady or Karolina Muchova, both of which would be in their first Grand Slam final, Osaka said: “Everyone is really excited whenever they play their first final, but they’re also super nervous.

“I don’t want to wish nerves on anyone, but hopefully… [laughs].

“For the past few weeks I’ve been eatening Japanese food on the day before my match. Yesterday I decided to eat Greek food, then I woke up and saw Tsitsipas had beaten Nadal. Maybe Greek food is good!”

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