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Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams in Australian Open semifinals to take 3-2 all-time series lead

Two of the titans of women’s tennis faced off in the Australian Open semifinals. We break down their history.

Naomi Osaka (left) congratulates Serena Williams (right) on her win during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

FEB 17 UPDATE: Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3 6-4 to advance to the Australian Open Finals. Osaka now leads the all-time series 3-2

The Australian Open tennis tournament is advancing through the women’s and men’s singles quarterfinals on Tuesday and setting up the semifinals starting on Wednesday. The No. 1 seed remains alive in both the women’s and men’s singles, but the matchup is set for what will be the most anticipated of the tournament.

No. 2 Naomi Osaka will face No. 10 Serena Williams in one of the two women’s singles semifinal matches. The other semifinal is still yet to be determined and likely will include top-seeded Ashleigh Barty, but the world will be watching what will be the fifth ever matchup between Osaka and Williams. UPDATE: Well, so much for Barty. She lost 1-6 6-3 6-2 to Karolina Muchova. Muchova will face Jennifer Brady who beat Jessica Pegula 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Osaka has been installed at DraftKings Sportsbook as a -159 favorite while Williams is listed as a +130 underdog. The lifetime series between these two is split 2-2. Osaka claimed the first two victories and Williams claimed the two most recent. Osaka beat Williams in the first round of the 2018 Miami Open, winning 6-3 6-2. She then followed up with a win over Williams in the finals of the 2018 US Open, winning 6-2 6-4. Williams responded in 2019 with a 6-3 6-4 quarterfinals victory in the 2019 Rogers Cup. Their most recent match was at the “A Day At The Drive” exhibition in a late-January Adelaide tune-up for the Australian open. Williams won 6-2 2-6 10-7.

The 2018 US Open was their lone Grand Slam matchup prior to Wednesday’s semifinal. Osaka won in straight sets but not without significant controversy. The chair umpire penalized Williams three separate times, all three of which she contested. The tournament’s referee association fined Williams $17,000, but the day after the match, the WTA stated it did not believe Williams was treated the same as a male star would be treated for an outburst at the umpire.