Japan’s Naomi Osaka brutally halted Serena Williams’s latest bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title yesterday, as Novak Djokovic wrote the final chapter of qualifier Aslan Karatsev’s fairy-tale run at the ongoing Australian Open.
Triple major-winner, Osaka, 23, again proved Williams’s nemesis with a one-sided 6-3, 6-4 win, which heightened questions about whether the American, 39, will ever match Margaret Court’s all-time record for Slam singles titles.
Williams put her hand on her heart as she acknowledged a standing ovation on Rod Laver Arena, and later walked out of her post-match press conference in tears, saying: “I’m done.”
The Japanese will face Jennifer Brady in Saturday’s final after the American beat Karolina Muchova.
Brady came past the Czech 6-4 3-6 6-4 to seal a spot in her first Grand Slam final despite the world’s number 114 moments of tension, though Djokovic had enough scores to win 6-3 6-4 6-2.
The 33-year-old Serb won the final four games to finally shrug off Karatsev.
Djokovic, who is going for a record-extending ninth men’s title in Melbourne, will face Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.