The Latest at the Australian Open on Wednesday (all times local):
There can be benefits to being on live TV when you’re far from home.
Naomi Osaka was on Japanese broadcaster NHK TV after her win over Elina Svitolina in the Australian Open quarterfinals and instead of answering any questions about the match, she asked: “Is this live?” And when told yes, she turned toward the camera and, in Japanese, said: “Grandpa, happy birthday.”
She figured her maternal grandfather, Tetsuo Osaka, would be tuning in.
“I was really wanting to win this match because it was his birthday, and I think he would have been watching,” the U.S. Open champion explained in a later news conference. “I’m not sure if he’s busy right now, but hopefully he got the message.”
Osaka is on a 12-match winning streak at Grand Slam tournaments and will next play seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals.
Karolina Pliskova says her “mind was in the locker room” when she was down 5-1 in the third set of her Australian Open quarterfinal against 23-time major winner Serena Williams.
In one of the most stunning comebacks at the Australian Open, the seventh-seeded Pliskova saved four match points as she rallied to win the last six games to clinch a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory and a semifinal spot against U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka.
“I didn’t have too many chances in the third set. I was a little bit too passive. Obviously mentally down,” Pliskova said. “So I just said, ‘Let’s try this game, on 5-2, maybe I’m going to have couple of chances.’
“She got a bit shaky at the end, so I took my chances, and I won.”
Pliskova’s win over the seven-time Australian Open titlist means there’ll be a first-time women’s champion at Melbourne Park this year.
In the other semifinal, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will play Danielle Collins, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this tournament. Kvitova’s best previous run at Melbourne was to the semifinals in 2012.
Serena Williams has lost her Australian Open quarterfinal to Karolina Pliskova after being called for a foot-fault on match point.
Williams was serving for the match at 5-1 in the third when the foot-fault was called, and then appeared to roll her left ankle during the next point as she lost three straight points and was broken.
Pliskova saved four match points and won six straight games to advance 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to a semifinal against Naomi Osaka.
Karolina Pliskova has taken the first set off Serena Williams in their Australian Open quarterfinal.
The seventh-seeded Pliskova broke Williams’ serve in the third game and held serve from there to win the first set 6-4, closing with an ace.
The 26-year-old Czech player is one set from becoming just the fifth active player to beat Williams twice or more at major tournaments.
Williams is aiming for a record-tying 24th major title. She lost to Pliskova in the U.S. Open semifinals in 2016, but leads their career head-to-heads 2-1 after winning their quarterfinal match at last year’s U.S. Open.
The winner of Wednesday’s match will meet U.S. Open champion and fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.
Naomi Osaka has reached her first semifinal at the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina.Osaka used her aggressive style and big hitting to compile a 31-11 edge in winners, including eight aces.
The No. 4-seeded Osaka is the reigning U.S. Open champion. She never had been past the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
Svitolina had her neck and shoulders massaged by a trainer during a medical timeout while trailing 3-0 in the second set.
Osaka’s semifinal opponent will be 23-time major champion Serena Williams or No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova.
Osaka beat Williams for the championship at Flushing Meadows last year in a match filled with all sorts of drama involving the American star and the chair umpire.
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka can set up a rematch of their chaotic U.S. Open final by winning quarterfinal matches at the Australian Open.
The No. 4-seeded Osaka faces No. 6 Elina Svitolina in the first quarterfinal in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.
That will be followed by Williams’ matchup against No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.
Osaka beat Williams for the championship in New York last September in a match filled with all sorts of drama involving the American star and the chair umpire.
In Wednesday’s men’s quarterfinals at Melbourne Park, 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic faces No. 28 Lucas Pouille during the day, while 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic takes on 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori at night.
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