Naomi Osaka has quietly made herself into one of the top forces in women’s tennis. It’s fitting, given her ever-present calm and cool demeanor. However, it’s likely that Osaka’s opponents would describe her powerful shots as anything but “calm.”
Naomi Osaka’s Grand Slam success will continue when she takes on Karolina Pliskova in the Australian Open semifinals. Pliskova is coming off an incredible comeback win over Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. This match is shaping up to be a high-level, hard-hitting affair.
Here is how Naomi Osaka has gotten to where she is today.
Streak of Grand Slam Wins
Osaka has won 12 straight Grand Slam matches, going back to her memorable run to the 2018 US Open title. With that breakthrough, Osaka emphatically announced her arrival on the world stage, displaying her powerful brand of tennis.
Despite two highly-contested matches against Hsieh Su-wei and Anastasija Sevastova, Osaka seemed to right herself in the Australian Open quarterfinals. She made quick work of Elina Svitolina, winning the contest 6-4 6-1.
Naomi Osaka is currently ranked No. 4 in the WTA rankings, behind Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, and Caroline Wozniacki. She catapulted herself to the top of the women’s game in 2018, finishing No. 5 after winning titles in Indian Wells and the US Open.
If she wins the Australian Open title, Osaka will leave Melbourne as the new WTA No. 1. This would be an incredible achievement, as she would be the first Japanese player, man or woman, to achieve the No. 1 ranking. She would also become the youngest player to achieve the WTA No. 1 ranking since Caroline Wozniacki.
Because Halep’s lost to Serena Williams earlier in the tournament, a win in Melbourne would put Naomi Osaka firmly at the top of the women’s tennis game.
Semifinal Matchup Against Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova currently holds a 2-1 record against Naomi Osaka. They played each other twice in 2018, with Osaka winning in Indian Wells and Pliskova winning in Tokyo.
Given Naomi Osaka’s Grand Slam success, she will likely be favored in this matchup. However, Pliskova will surely carry over some momentum from her victory over Serena Williams. Given each player’s form in the past few days, fans are likely in for a great match.
Osaka and Pliskova will face off for a spot in the Australian Open final. The match is scheduled to start in the early morning of Thursday, January 24 (Eastern Time).