Australian Open: Naomi Osaka's interview leaves fans in stitches


The 21-year-old Japanese star overcame the seventh seed 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to reach a second straight Grand Slam decider after her breakthrough triumph over Serena Williams at last year's US Open.

Naomi Osaka has downed Czech heavyweight Karolina Pliskova in three sets to qualify for her second consecutive gran slam final after claiming the US Open a year ago.

And so with Williams seemingly having injured her ankle, the 26-year-old former world No. 1, who was beaten in the 2016 Australian Open final by Germany's Angelique Kerber, came racing back.

Kvitova defeated Danielle Collins 7-6 6-0 before Osaka beat Karolina Pliskova 6-2 4-6 6-4 in the final four. And together they've been responsible for the ousting of the likes of two-time Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, and 23-time major victor Serena Williams to get to this far in the tournament. His next opponent will be 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic, who moved on when 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori stopped playing while trailing 6-1, 4-1.

Kvitova dropped no more than five games in each of her first five matches, and although Danielle Collins pushed her to a tiebreaker in the first set of their semi-final, Kvitova prevailed and shut out the American 6-0 in the second set to power into the final in stunning form.

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"I think I was happier than the fans that the roof closed", Kvitova said.

The chair umpire was Carlos Ramos, the official who penalised Serena Williams a game in last year's chaotic US Open final, and Collins got into two testy exchanges with him. She was out in the first round at Melbourne Park past year and at Wimbledon, and third rounds the French and U.S. Opens. Whatever happens, I'm very, very happy.

Williams has a large fan following considering she is widely regarded among the greatest tennis players of all time, and they are loyal to a fault. "Everyone tries to get their hands on one of the four biggest titles in sport, but Australia has been really kind to me".

She broke the serve of Collins three times in the second set and did not concede a game, wrapping up the semi-final in an hour and 34 minutes.

Match Stats:Osaka: 15 aces, 3 DFs, 58% 1st serves in, 81% 1st serve points won, 41% 2nd serve points won, 68% returns in, 4 of 11 break points won, 6 of 8 break points saved, 56 winners, 30 unforced errors.

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"To be honest, I'm still not really believing that I'm in the final".

While both women said that just making another major final is an accomplishment in itself, a positive step in their journeys, they also both came to Melbourne believing they could win.

"You know, that´s why I worked pretty hard to be back here".

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She had a 2-1 lead in career meetings against Osaka heading into the semi-final but refused to be negative about the defeat.

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Bajin said: "Both of them are very risky off the first two, three shots, but I believe once the rally keeps going Naomi, with her current state of mind and physique, has the upper hand".