Australian Open, Day 11: Key highlights

Rafael Nadal was ruthless against Stefanos Tsitsipas as he crushed the Greek 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in the men's singles semifinal.

2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal crushed 20-year old Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his fifth final in Melbourne.   -  Australian Open Twitter

It's Day 11 — the day of the all-important semifinals. Welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the Australian Open.

Men's Singles(Semifinals)

Rafael Nadal bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0

Women's Singles (Semifinals)

Petra Kvitova bt Danielle Rose Collins 7-6, 6-0.

Naomi Osaka bt Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

 

  • Rafael Nadal through to his fifth Australian Open final with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas as he goes in hunt for his second title at Melbourne. Tsitsipas has been unable to find answers after delivering some memorable wins in the tournament en route this match.

 

  • Absolute carnage! Tsitsipas has been broken twice in the third set and a ruthless Nadal stands two games away from taking the match.
  • Nadal takes the second set 6-4. Tsitsipas is unable to test the Spaniard with his serve.

 

  • It's been on serve so far with both the players holding their serves comfortably.
  • Tsitsipas holds to love to kickstart the second set.
  • Big serves, including an ace, and a forehand winner to the right of Tsitsipas, helps Nadal take the first set 6-2. It's been a one-sided contest so far.
  • Another break, and it's 5-2 to Nadal.
  • Nadal makes his opponent scramble and wins a rally, and later, unleashes a stunning forehand crosscourt winner. He races to 4-2.
  • An ace, and a backhand winner to right of Nadal helps Tsitsipas hold. It's 3-2.
  • A comfortable hold for Nadal to love. It's 3-1, in the first set.
  • A crosscourt backhand winner and a forehand down-the-line-winner are the highlights of some expert play from Nadal as he seizes the initiative in the contest early. He breaks, it's 2-1 in Nadal's favour.

 

  • A forehand wide from Tsitsipas, and Nadal makes it 1-1.
  • Tsitsipas holds. he unleashes good serves, and Nadal is scratchy in his returns. It's 1-0 to Tsitsipas.
  • Exactly 10 years ago, Nadal had clinched the Australian Open title, defeating Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals, and Roger Federer in the final. Can he do an encore?
  • The players warm up in the middle.

 

  • Welcome back, it's time for the men to make their way to the court now.
  • Meanwhile, we wait for the men's singles semifinal between Stefano Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal.
  • The line-up for women's singles final, set for Saturday, has been decided. Petra Kvitova takes on Naomi Osaka.
  • Osaka confesses the third set was scary, and is glad she came through.
  • Osaka serves an ace to hold, and clinch the contest. It was called out, initially. The Hawk-Eye came to her rescue; it was just in.

 

  • Pliskova holds. It's 5-4.
  • Osaka holds her nerve once again. A missed forehand by her gives Pliskova a break point but Osaka serves an ace, and dominates the next two exchanges to emerge unscathed, and take a 5-3 lead.
  • Pliskova holds. A backhand cross-court winner by Osaka was the exception in an otherwise one-sided game.
  • Another comfortable hold, this time by Osaka, with the help of effective serves. It's 4-2.
  • Osaka nets a return to hand Pliskova the game. Pliskova's hold makes it 3-2 in favour of Osaka. Can there be another twist in the contest?
  • Osaka produces an ace to complete her hold of serve. Barring a neat drop-shot from her opponent that caught her off-guard, she had been comfortable.
  • And Osaka has the break, now. She rides her momentum, producing a winner and a good return of serve en route to her break of serve. She holds the edge, at 2-1, in the third set.

 

  • A keen tussle got even keener. In a game of more than six minutes in duration, both players make lots of mistakes and produce some nice winners. Osaka's backhand cross-court winner seemed to have lifted her at one point, then she received a tough return and made a few mistakes. The game went to deuce, and then oscillated between the two players. Osaka was quite animated in her expressions; the fatigue has to be taken into account as well. A netted return gives Osaka the game, and she is relieved.
  • Pliskova deliveries big, booming serves, and holds. She leads 1-0 in the third set.
  • And Osaka falters in her own service game, too. Pliskova has the better of the exchanges and holds to love. It's 6-4 and the contest goes to the third set.

 

  • Osaka lets out a scream after stroking long, to hand Pliskova the game. With Pliskova having double-faulted at 30-15, she had a look-in, but off the next point, she has a poor return of serve, and then, a poor stroke in a rally. It's 5-4 to Pliskova.
  • Two big serves and expert rallying at game-point helps Osaka hold a rather uncomfortable game. Pliskova produced some good angles in their rallies to induce errors out of Osaka. But it's 4-4, still on serve.
  • Osaka's cross-court backhand stroke, which touches the net on its way to the court, seems to have Pliskova amused. But it is a minor blip in an otherwise comfortable hold. The game had Pliskova's first ace of the match. It's 4-3.
  • Booming serves help Osaka hold her service game comfortably. It's 3-3.
  • Pliskova holds, but not without a scare. Osaka keeps herself interested with her traditional angled forehand stroke that goes deep. But Pliskova has the better of two rallies to emerge the winner of the game.
  • Osaka holds to love. 2-2.
  • She finds her control once again, in the next game, and has three break points. But Pliskova unleashes good serves to hold. It's 2-1, in the second set.
  • Osaka falters all of a sudden. She is wayward in her stroke-making and fails to defend what was a fairly comfortable position in a rally to go down. It's even now, at 1-1.
  • Working Pliskova around the court, and with dominant strokes, Osaka takes the lead in the second set with a break of serve. She leads 1-0.

 

  • Osaka clinches the first set 6-2. She had 16 winners in this set.
  • Osaka seems to be riding the crest of a wave. On the run, she produces a forehand winner appreciated by the crowd, and later, unsettles Pliskova with a backhand cross-court return. Pliskova, in the end, double faults on serve to hand Osaka a 5-2 lead.
  • Two awesome forehand winners and good serves help Osaka hold again. She leads 4-2.
  • Pliskova, with a dominant service game of her own, keeps herself in the set. She holds, and its 3-2 in favour of Osaka.
  • And she has a 3-1 lead with a dominant display in her service game.

 

  • Osaka turns it around quickly and takes the break. A good return of serve, and a winner during a rally, helps her unsettle her opponent.
  • Osaka holds, but it wasn't an authoritative display. With two strokes too long, Osaka gives her opponent a look-in. But, as with Pliskova, serves come to Osaka's aid as well. It's 1-1.
  • Pliskova survives an early scare. Osaka unleashes two forehand cross-court strokes Pliskova had no answers to. And then, with a double fault on serve, she hands a break point to Osaka. But good serves come to her rescue, and she goes 1-0 up.
  • The players are out in the middle, and are warming up. Pliskova holds the edge in the head-to-head between the two. She has won two contests and lost one.
  • She will play the winner of the second semifinal, which is set to begin soon at the Rod Lave Arena. Pliskova, who defeated Serena Williams in the quarterfinal, plays Naomi Osaka, the 2018 US Open champion.
  • Kvitova says, "It means everything," after clinching the contest. The fact that the roof closed helped her, she says.
  • Through dominant serves, Kvitova helps herself to yet another game, to clinch the contest. She moves into the final of the Australian Open with a 7-6, 6-0 win. It can't be called a demolition act, as the first set was tightly contested, but the second set certainly was one-sided. Collins seemed to surrender quickly in the second set.

 

  • And again. Kvitova continues her dominance, breaking Collins once more.
  • Collins, at the mercy of Kvitova, looking to close out a point at the net, produces a good defence to steal the point. However, it's perhaps too little, too late, as Kvitova responds with an ace, and closes out the game promptly for a 4-0 lead.

 

  • Another break, and this contest seems to have tilted heavily to the side of Kvitova. An excellent forehand return in a rally, and an expert lob to catch Collins off-guard, were some highlights of the third game of the set. Kvitova leads 3-0.
  • A comfortable hold of service for Kvitova. She leads 2-0 in the second set.
  • And Kvitova takes the first game of the second set, a break. Trailing 40-30, Collins makes a poor backhand return in the middle of a rally, it goes to the net.
  • A forehand winner gives Kvitova the first set, 7-6. She clinches the tie-break 6-2.
  • Petra Kvitova and Danielle Rose Collins have taken what has been a nip-and-tuck first set into the tiebreak.

Petra Kvitova, the eighth seed, is up against U.S.'s Danielle Rose Collins, in the first semifinal of the day. The other women's singles semifinal — Naomi Osaka versus Karolina Pliskova — will be the second contest.

In the afternoon (2 pm IST), Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on the No. 2 seed, Rafael Nadal.