July 16, 2019

Aussie Open: Nadal, Osaka for final

January 24, 2019
Nadal
Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka

Second seed Rafael Nadal ended Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas’ captivating run to reach his fifth Australian Open final.

Nadal, 32, was in devastating form as he beat the 20-year-old 14th seed 6-2, 6-4,

6-0 in one hour and 46 minutes.

The Spaniard cracked 28 winners, breaking Tsitsipas’ serve six times and only facing one break point himself.

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He will play either top seed Novak Djokovic or France’s Lucas Pouille – who meet on Friday – in Sunday’s final.

“It was a great match, it has been a great tournament and I have played very well every day,” Nadal said.

“Hopefully I can play better than that.”

Also, US Open champion Naomi Osaka reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals with a hard-fought win over Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova at the Australian Open.

The Japanese fourth seed won 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 and will face Petra Kvitova, another Czech, in Saturday’s showpiece.

Osaka, 21, hit 15 aces and 56 winners in a confident display.

ALSO READ: Nadal nicks 30th Grand Slam S/final ticket

Asked about her feelings when Pliskova won the second set, Osaka said: “I kind of expected it a little because I’ve played her so many times and she has beaten me more than I’ve beaten her. I told myself to regroup and I managed to win.

“It’s just experience playing matches like this. I was so scared serving second serves, I was like ‘oh, my god, please’ and somehow I made it so I guess that’s experience.”

The final will see Osaka and 28-year-old Kvitova, who has reached her first Grand Slam final since being stabbed in December 2016, battling for the world number one ranking.

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