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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Australian Open women’s singles final: Naomi Osaka’s road to final

US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who is on a 13-match winning streak in the majors, has carried out another brilliant Grand Slam campaign as she now faces Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final on Saturday.
Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is from Haiti, has been a star in Japan since she beat Serena Williams in the final of the last U.S. Open. The 21-year old is now aiming to be the first woman to win back-to-back majors since Serena Williams in 2015.
The World No. 4 beat No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova, No. 6 Elina Svitolina and 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova in her journey to reach her second consecutive Grand Slam final. Here is her complete road to Australian Open final:
First round:
Osaka began the Australian Open campaign well, struck 30 winners in the demolishing of world No 86 Magda Linette of Poland to reach the second round.
Second round:
Osaka beat Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 6-4 in the second round at Melbourne Park to continue her campaign at the Australian Open. The fourth-seeded Osaka recovered a service break in the second set and, at 4-4, she broke Zidansek’s service to love. Osaka hit an ace to save a break point in the last game and clinched it on her second match point with a service winner.
Third round:
The 21-year old escaped a scare in the third round as she lost the first set and tripped in the second against Hsieh Su-wei. Osaka, who also got a warning from the umpire after she spiked her racket in frustraton, recovered both times and avoided slipping out of the Australian Open with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over Hsieh Su-wei.
Fourth round:
Osaka struggled to get to grips with Latvian Anastasija Sevastova as she lost the opening set in 33 minutes but after a few wise words from coach Sascha Bajin, she blasted through the next two sets to win 3-6 6-0 6-4.
The US Open champion dropped only five points in the second set and then cruised through the decider.
Osaka dominated Elina Svitolina of Ukraine to win in straight sets and reach the Australian Open semi-finals. The 21-year old had too much firepower for Svitolina, triumphing 6-4, 6-1 in Melbourne.
Osaka reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals with a hard-fought win over Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2 4-6 6-4 at the Australian Open. The Japanese fourth seed won 6-2 4-6 6-4 and will face Petra Kvitova, another Czech, in Saturday’s showpiece. Osaka hit another forehand winner to give herself a match point at 40-30.