‘Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are both amazing fighters,’ says former Champion ahead of semi-final clash

Former Grand Slam Champion Justine Henin says the semi-final clash between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will be a different level to all other matches we’ve seen so far.

Williams is famously challenging for her 24th Championship title and hopes to match the all-time record for Grand Slam wins held by Margaret Court.

Meanwhile after an inconsistent year, Osaka has found her form in Australia and is hoping to win her fourth major.

Following a controversial first on-court meeting between the two at the 2018 US Open final, the players have become firm friends, with Osaka admitting to idolising Williams.

However, all friendships will be on hold for tomorrow’s clash on Rod Laver Arena, and former champ Henin thinks it will be a tight match.

“It’s a really exciting match. I think they both confident and they are both playing well” Henin told Eurosport.

“They respect each other, that’s for sure. Of course, there was that drama in the US Open final but that was a long time ago now.

“Serena has impressed me in different ways, I think it was a great victory against Halep, even if Simona was a bit disappointed in her intentions and Serena completely controlled the match.

“Serena looks better physically than what we have seen in the recent past and she is again the finals – so it’s pretty amazing but now the step up is going to be really high for her because Naomi, for me, took on a new dimension with her victory at the US Open.

“We have the feeling there are two bosses in this tournament – one with the experience and an amazing champion; and the other because she is becoming more and more consistent.

“This is why it is going to be exciting – the way they play, of course it is going to be an aggressive match with a lot of determination, they are both amazing fighters and they both serve well.

“The pressure is going to on both sides of the net and I think the pressure that Osaka is going to put on Serena is going to be much, much different to what she experienced in the first few matches of the tournament.

“This is going to be really interesting, I give a small advantage to Naomi Osaka, that’s how I see it – she has the weapons. But Serena is showing amazing resilience.”

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