Tears and a shortened press conference. Serena Williams did not manage to hide her immense pain this Thursday morning in Melbourne, after being defeated in the semifinals of the Australian Open by Naomi Osaka. The Japanese disposed of her opponent in an hour and a quarter of play and two clear and flawless sets: 6-3, 6-4.
A result that puts an end, de facto, to the record dream that Serena Williams cherished. The American could hope to win a 24th Grand Slam title in Melbourne and thus match the record held by Australian Margaret Smith Court since 1973. A prospect that is becoming increasingly evanescent for Serena Williams, who at 39 was the the oldest player of the Open era to appear in the last square in Melbourne.
Another American in the final
Asked at the end of the match about her future, Serena Williams evaded: “I do not know. If one day I say my goodbyes, I won’t tell anyone. ” Shortly before leaving, in tears, his hasty press conference in the bowels of the Rod Laver Arena.
For Naomi Osaka, who started as favorite with her rank of 3rd player in the world, it was despite everything a prestigious victory. “I was nervous and I was scared at the start of the match, confides the Japanese. It’s always an honor for me to play against her and I didn’t want it to go too badly. When I was little I watched her play, and just being on the court in front of her is a dream for me.i.»
Naomi Osaka will meet an American in the final of the Australian Open. In the other semi-final, which pitted two surprise qualifiers, Jennifer Brady defeated Czech Karolína Muchová in three sets: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The ladies final is scheduled for Saturday morning at 9:30 am.