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Result: Naomi Osaka battles past Karolina Pliskova to reach Australian Open final

:Headline: Result: Naomi Osaka battles past Karolina Pliskova to reach Australian Open final:
Osaka and Kvitova will compete for the title and the world number one ranking.

Naomi Osaka kept her hopes of winning back-to-back grand slam titles alive by dispatching Serena Williams' conqueror Karolina Pliskova to reach the Australian Open final.

Osaka produced a brutal display of power hitting under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, striking 56 winners in a 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory and will face Petra Kvitova on Saturday.

The 21-year-old's achievement makes her the first women to back up a first slam title by making the final of the next major tournament since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.

As well as the title, the world number one ranking will also be on the line on Saturday, with Kvitova and Osaka both looking to get there for the first time.

Capriati followed her maiden title here 18 years ago by winning the French Open and, if Osaka can maintain the form she showed in this match, then there is absolutely no reason why she cannot emulate that.

Having survived tough battles against the unconventional pair of Hsieh Su-wei and Anastasija Sevastova earlier in the tournament, Osaka certainly looked more comfortable taking on a fellow ball-basher.

And bash the ball she did, repeatedly into the corners, off both forehand and backhand, to win the first set.

Osaka had won her previous 58 matches after winning the first set but – following her remarkable comeback to beat Williams – Pliskova would have known that no cause was impossible.

Osaka broke serve again at the start of the second set but then gave it straight back with a poor game and slowly the momentum began to shift, the two women trading fiercer and fiercer blows.

Osaka produced some fine play to hold off her opponent at 3-4 but two games later Pliskova broke to love to take the match to a decider.

The 26-year-old, who reached her only slam final at the US Open in 2016, looked to continue her momentum at the start of the decider but Osaka saved three break points before playing a tremendous return game to move 2-1 ahead.

Pliskova had one chance to get back on level terms in the eighth game but Osaka served an ace, and then another one – given by HawkEye – to clinch the victory.

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last updated article - 2019-01-24 07:44:05:
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1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
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14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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