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Osaka advances to Australian Open semis by beating Hsieh

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.

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

Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts after defeating Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.(AP PhotoHamish Blair)

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.

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.

Japan's Naomi Osaka hits a forehand return to Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.(AP PhotoHamish Blair)

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.

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Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei walks from Rod Laver Arena after losing quarterfinal to Japan's Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.(AP PhotoHamish Blair)