Osaka ends Serena’s 24th Grand Slam quest

Naomi Osaka once again proved a road too far for Serena Williams in her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title.

On Friday, on the Rod Laver court, the 22-year-old beat her 39-year-old opponent 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.

Serena started in a confident mood, breaking Osaka to take a 2-0 lead but Osaka regrouped the next five games.

Serena held serve for 5-3 but Osaka served out the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

Osaka broke Serena at the beginning of the second set, forcing her opponent into errors with big and deep forehands.

With the crowd allowed back into Melbourne Park, record-chasing Serena fed off their energy to level the second game at 4-4 but she destroyed all that good work by immediately handing the initiative and momentum back to Osaka with a double fault.

Osaka served the match out at the first attempt and she will meet either Karolina Muchova or Jennifer Brady in Saturday’s final.

Speaking afterwards, Osaka said “I hit a lot of…

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