Serena Williams was unable to capitalise on a nervous start from Naomi Osaka as the World No.2 blasted her way past the American and into the Australian Open final.
Fans around the world tuned in to watch the blockbuster semi-final showdown between Osaka and Williams and it was the American that started off on fire.
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The 39-year-old used her experience and broke a 'nervous' Osaka straight away to hold a 2-0 lead in the first set.
“Naomi’s nervous,” Commentator Jim Courier said.
“What a start!” Sam smith said on Williams' opening two games.
“Serena (is) pitch perfect so far.”
But Osaka put aside the nerves and stormed back to take the first set 6-3 in "barnstorming" fashion.
Osaka's groundstrokes proved too much for Williams who made a few uncharacteristic mistakes.
"THIS IS BIG, BOLD, AND BARNSTORMING TENNIS!"
After being down 2-0 and getting broken in the first game, Osaka has hit back and found her groove!
STREAM: https://t.co/TYsz5RZN3Z#9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/990dCQ6qSa
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 18, 2021
Serena didn’t capitalize on Naomi’s nerves. Now Naomi is on fire. #AusOpen
— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) February 18, 2021
TERRIBLE set from Serena.
— Gorman's Verse (@bukworm1906) February 18, 2021
But things didn't get better for Williams in the second set after Osaka immediately broke to take a 2-0 lead.
This prompted a frustrated Williams to yell: 'Make a shot,' during a game.
"Make A SHOT!"
Serena lets out a huge scream as she hits her best forehand of the match. Serena knows she has to get this going NOW.#AusOpen
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 18, 2021
— Marcie Bianco (@MarcieBianco) February 18, 2021
Serena can only shrug pic.twitter.com/kRr3AHw2iA
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 18, 2021
— Donovan Kerns (@donovankerns) February 18, 2021
But the match took another twist at 4-3 when Osaka served three double faults to allow Williams back in.
However, Osaka broke straight back and proved too clinical serving for the match to win 6-3, 6-4 and reach the Australian Open final.
Fans were quick to praise the Japanese superstar for her classy performance as she attempts to grab her second Australian Open title, which she won back in 2019.
This match is barely an hour old, and Osaka is two service games from booking her place in the #AusOpen final. Serena far from quitting, but Osaka is looking pretty damn good on serve.
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) February 18, 2021
Nobody just comes out and beats Serena, 3 and 4, in a major semifinal.
That's how well Naomi Osaka is playing right now.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) 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
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