Naomi Osaka has kept her hopes of winning back-to-back grand slam titles alive by dispatching Serena Williams’ conqueror Karolina Pliskova to reach the Australian Open final.
Osaka produced a brutal display of power hitting under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, striking 56 winners in a 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory and will face Petra Kvitova on Saturday.
The 21-year-old’s achievement makes her the first women to back up a first slam title by making the final of the next major tournament since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.
As well as the title, the world number one ranking will also be on the line on Saturday, with Kvitova and Osaka both looking to get there for the first time.
Capriati followed her maiden title here 18 years ago by winning the French Open and, if Osaka can maintain the form she showed in this match, then there is absolutely no reason why she cannot emulate that.
The US Open Champion, Naomi Osaka will face Czech Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final on Saturday.
Both are first time finalists in Melbourne.
Osaka and Kvitova have never played against each other before and when they meet on Saturday, they will be playing for the Number One spot in tennis.
Kvitova is 28, while Naomi is 21.