The Australian Open semifinals are set to begin with a headline match between two superstars of women’s tennis. The third-ranked Naomi Osaka will face-off with tenth-ranked Serena Williams in a battle that determines who will reach the women’s singles finals.
we going into the semis ☺️✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/2BSGDneE1D
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) February 16, 2021
The titanic semifinal between Williams and Osaka is setting up to be one of the most high-profile tennis matches of the pandemic era. The last time the two met, Williams secured her first win over Osaka in a tournament in Toronto.
With Williams coming off of a shoulder injury, she will need to keep raising the level of her game in her match against Osaka. But defense is going to be key for Williams when they face-off.
Defense is William’s strength.
Movement has always been one of Williams’ strengths on the court.
After a stunning win over second-seeded Simona Halep, Williams’ ability to move and defend is no question. Williams is looking to focusing in on this strength in the semifinal as she is bringing movement back into her game.
A semifinal is a semifinal–no one makes it by chance. Although, this semifinal will have more of a finals feel to it. But Williams has said that even with an incredible opponent such as Osaka, it does not matter who she is playing. Williams is feeling good heading into the semifinal after topping Halep in a commanding fashion. Now, she needs to keep going and focus on utilizing her natural movement.
Keys for Osaka.
Osaka says Williams has been a major influence on her game. Osaka grew up watching Williams and will now be watching her from a much more intimidating position: from across the court.
Osaka commented on how Williams has kept a fit physique throughout the pandemic as well as maintained clean scores. But Osaka looks ahead to the semifinal as being a memorable game regardless of the outcome. Osaka is one of the most clutch players on the hardcourt and will need to come out from the beginning with intensity.
This semifinal will definitely be an interesting watch. It’s difficult to say which competitor has the advantage. In this titanic matchup, Williams can’t afford to miss a single step while Osaka will need to bring her aggressive style to the court.