Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady Secure 2021 Australian Open Finals Spots

Naomi Osaka in 2018. Photo by Juergen Hasenkopf/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9870975dn)

Naomi Osaka once again denied Serena Williams an opportunity to get her 24th Grand Slam and tie Margaret Court’s record. After beating Williams in the US Open finals in 2018, Osaka did the same in the 2021 Australian Open semis on Wednesday.

Osaka got the win easier than expected, dismantling Williams in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-4. The No. 3-seeded Japanese athlete once again showed her dominance on the hard court, frustrating Williams for the better part of the match and causing her to make 24 unforced errors.

“I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today, but I was a little kid watching her play. And just to be on the court playing against her, for me, is a dream,” said Osaka after her win.

The loss against Osaka extended Williams’ drought on the majors. She hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since 2017’s Australian Open despite making four finals.

Osaka, on the other hand, is aiming for her fourth Grand Slam after previously winning the US Open in 2018 and 2020, and the Australian Open in 2019. In order to get there, she will have to go through this year’s sensation Jennifer Brady.

Brady punched her ticked for the 2021 Australian Open finals with a 6-4, 3-6, and 6-4 win over Karolina Muchova. This will be the first Grand Slam finals appearance for the 25-year-old American, whose previous best score was the semis at the 2020 US Open.