'Ice cold': Tennis world erupts over brutal Naomi Osaka act
Naomi Osaka has ended Serena Williams' latest shot at tennis history with a ruthless Australian Open quarter-final victory that has stunned the tennis world.
The Japanese superstar overpowered Williams 6-3 6-4 in 75 minutes to leave the American stranded one grand slam shy of Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 singles majors.
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Seeking a fourth major of her own, and second Open crown after reigning in Melbourne in 2019, third-seeded Osaka will play Jennifer Brady in the final after the American downed Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4 3-6 6-4.
The World No.3 seemed a little nervous to begin with as Williams grabbed a service break at the first time of asking to establish an early 2-0 lead.
However, the 23-year-old Japanese star rattled off the next five games in a row to leave Williams and those watching in shock.
Osaka's serve proved too much for Williams to handle, with the Japanese star formidable on her own racquet.
The three-time major winner's powerful groundstrokes also caused nightmares for her American opponent, with commentator Sam Smith declaring Osaka to be the most powerful hitter in women's tennis.
Williams - bidding for a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title - is used to blowing her opponents off the court.
But it was Osaka that brutally flipped the script with a devastating display against the seven-time Australian Open champion.
While it looked on paper like a routine straight sets win for Osaka, the Japanese star gave fans a scare with a remarkable implosion in the second set.
The World No.3 uncharacteristically gifted Williams a window back into the set with three double faults in the one service game.
That inexplicable mid-set blip helped Williams get back on level terms at 4-4 but any glimmer of hope the American had was quickly extinguished.
Osaka instantly broke back next game to give herself a chance to serve for the match.
Naomi Osaka masterclass leaves fans in awe
There was to be no repeat of the 2019's Australian Open champion's service woes as Osaka sealed victory to book her spot in Saturday night's final.
Osaka's brutal performance left the tennis world in a spin on social media.
Osaka straight torched Serena, continuing her ascent.
— MONOPAULIE 🥊 (@antidotepaulie) February 18, 2021
Osaka is ice cold In The middle of summer. Strictly business and she’s a force. Gonna take all Serena has got to beat this woman...ever #AustralianOpen
— Omar Benson Miller (@OmarMiller) February 18, 2021
Naomi Osaka leaves me absolutely, literally, speechless. I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. She’s unbelievable. My favorite tennis player in the world on this side of Roger Federer
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) September 12, 2020
Naomi Osaka... is the real...deal. Serena is still the GOAT but wow.
— Cedric Douglas (@CoachCD2) February 18, 2021
Osaka power is CRAZY
— JSG (@_IamBroissac) February 18, 2021
Naomi Osaka is playing great. She’s truly a force on that court.#AusOpen
— 👸🏾L E A👸🏾 (@_MissLeandra) February 18, 2021
It’s scary hours for Serena 😔
— Long live Scorcese (@Less_HumbleTeej) February 18, 2021
Osaka is killing Serena. She’s young, too good and too athletic for Serena to keep up. #idolsbecomeyourrivals
— Prolific 🏁 (@Dulai_Era) February 18, 2021
Naomi Osaka is simply terrific. Those serves! 🔥 #AusOpen #NaomiOsaka
— Thapelo (@Mtm_83) February 18, 2021
Osaka is relentless, what a game that was #AusOpen
— Kyle McDonald (@KyleMac_24) February 18, 2021
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