Osaka reaches Australian Open final, closes in on No. 1 ranking

Australian Open: Serena Williams and Milos Raonic crash out, Novak Djokovic advances

Kimiko Date, the last Japanese player to reach the Australian Open Semi-final spoke about fellow Japanese sensation - Naomi Osaka, who recently overtook this achievement by reaching the finals of the Australian Open.

Kvitova is one match away from capping one of the most inspiring comebacks in the history of the sport, having had to undergo a almost four-hour surgery on her playing hand in 2016 after being attacked by a knife-wielding intruder at her home in the Czech Republic.

Osaka said she took pride from the fact she did not lose her nerve when Pliskova levelled at a set apiece. It's pretty obvious. I don't think they did it on goal to be, like, whitewashing or anything. I'm very happy to have those few around me, which is the best I think.

"They need to start the match the way it's going to finish, I think", Collins, a former Northeast High standout and two-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia, said.

But unlike her last grand slam loss, when the American's bitter exchange with the chair umpire at last year's US Open stole the spotlight from Japanese history-maker Naomi Osaka, Williams was magnanimous in defeat.

Sascha Bajin, for seven years a hitting partner for Serena Williams, is the sort of tennis insider who brings weight to any conversation and, in guiding the career of Naomi Osaka, he has moved from one legend to someone who may become one herself.

If she manages winning the Australian Open title by beating Petra Kvitova, she will be crowned the New World No.1. 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.

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On top of her power game, she was extremely accurate, serving at 81 per cent on her first serve for the match, 12 per cent better than her opponent.

Generally speaking, Osaka has been under far more pressure throughout the tournament, having to come back from a set and 2-4, 0-40 down to get the win.

'She's an aggressive player, which I am as well. The Czech has enjoyed her most dominant run to a Slam final yet, averaging just 2.33 games lost per set over the fortnight.

Osaka, the fourth seed in Melbourne, took command of proceedings early and with two breaks of serve she won the first set in 32 minutes. Finally I have made it.

"Every single match I play, whether I'm coming back from a baby or a surgery or it doesn't matter, these young ladies bring a game that I've never seen before". Kvitova will be a sentimental favourite, particularly after her tearful on-court acknowledgment of success in her "second career" after her quarterfinal win over Australia's Ash Barty. "I don't think she can repeat match like this", Pliskova told reporters. Maybe that's a hard process for them, I don't know.

She failed dismally at that, with two poor shots bringing up three set points and Osaka was broken to love and she had let her opponent right back in the contest.

Demanding cash, he attacked her, holding a knife to her throat, but Kvitova fought back, with the knife nearly severing her index finger on her dominant left hand in the struggle. She was No.1 at that time.

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