Naomi Osaka advances to Australian Open semifinals with 19th straight victory | CBC Sports

Naomi Osaka advanced Tuesday to a potential semifinal showdown against Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

Osaka earned her 19th victory in a row by overpowering Hsieh Su-wei 6-2, 6-2, and will next meet the winner of the quarterfinal match Tuesday night between Williams and No. 2-seeded Simona Halep.

Seeded third, Osaka reached 122 mph (196 kph) on her serve and pounded her forehand. She hit seven aces, lost only two points on her first serve and was never broken.

Osaka also played excellent defence, such as in the final game, when she raced forward to chase down a drop shot, flicking a backhand cross-court for a winner.

At 35, Hsieh was the oldest woman to make her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut in the professional era. But Osaka wasn’t fazed by Hsieh’s flat, deceptive two-handed strokes from both sides.

Osaka’s winning streak includes a U.S. Open title in September for her third Grand Slam championship. The streak also includes her fourth-round win last week, when she saved two match points and swept the final four games to overtake Garbine Muguruza.

Osaka is 4-0 in Grand Slam quarterfinals, including a victory en route to the Australian Open title in 2019.

Two quarterfinal matches were on the men’s schedule: eight-time champion Novak Djokovic against Alexander Zverev, and Grigor Dimitrov versus 114th-ranked qualifier Aslan Karatsev.

Gauff and doubles partner McNally lose in QF

The extended run of the young American doubles team of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally — self-dubbed “McCoco” — has ended in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.

Gauff and McNally were beaten 7-6 (4), 6-1 by the fourth-seeded team of Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands and American Nicole Melichar.

Gauff and McNally had a 4-1 lead in the opening set before a series of unforced errors saw Schuurs and Melichar stage a comeback. The winners took a 3-1 lead in the second set after a service break and closed out the match quickly.

The American pair had beaten two seeded teams in previous matches.

At the 2020 Australian Open, Gauff made her tournament debut by beating defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach the fourth round, then pushed eventual champion Sofia Kenin to three sets. But the 16-year-old Gauff lost to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina in straight sets in the second round last week.

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