MELBOURNE, Australia - Naomi Osaka (JPN) advances to her second consecutive Grand Slam final after defeating Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Pliskova has had the upper hand, winning two of the last three meetings between the pair, but this time was noticeably different. The 2018 US Open Champion commanded the first set with unwavering precision, blasting winners from the baseline to all corners of the court, leaving Pliskova bewildered. After a mild case of nerves in the second set, Osaka regrouped in the second game of the third set to continue dominating with her signature powerful forehands and serves.
“I was expecting her (Pliskova) to battle.” Osaka described. “ I just told myself to regroup in the third set and no matter what, to serve as hard as I can”
Osaka’s win helps to move up her ranking to potentially obtain the coveted WTA World No. 1 spot following the tournament, if she continues at this pace. In the final match set for Saturday January 26th, Osaka will face another Czechian, Petra Kvitova (CZE) for the chance to take back to back Grand Slam titles.