Australian Open: Osaka thrashes Hsieh to reach semifinals

Osaka, the 2019 champion, will meet the winner of Serena Williams and Simona Halep for a place in the final.

All in a day's work | Naomi Osaka crushed Hsieh Su-wei, earning a place in the semifinal of the Australian Open in the process.   -  Getty Images

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.

“Normally I never look at my draw,” Osaka said. “But everyone has told me about my draw here, so I kind of had no choice but to know who my next opponent is. It’s definitely going to be really fun.”

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

READ: Australian Open: Serena leads charge of American women, faces old foe Halep

Osaka also played excellent defense, 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, pounding forehand winners into both corners.

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 Garbiñe Muguruza.

“It makes me a bit more calm, knowing that my back was severely against the wall,” Osaka said.

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.