The first semi to start the day, Naomi Osaka v Serena Williams, is by far the most anticipated match in the women’s draw.
What’s at stake for both players?
Naomi Osaka: The Japanese world No.3 is creating an enviable record at the pointy end of the majors. When she reaches at least the quarter-finals, Osaka goes on to win the event. It’s happened three times – at the 2018 US Open, the Australian Open two years ago and last year’s US Open. There’s also the not so insignificant matter of rankings. World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will get a healthy amount of points for a quarter-final exit, while Osaka today has the chance to be rewarded for at least a top-two finish. Osaka has a 2-1 head-to-head record against Williams – she’ll want to keep that ledger well in the positive.
Serena Williams: What’s not at stake for the tennis legend when she plays at the slams now? Aged 39, Williams has been stranded on 23 major wins since her 2017 Australian Open triumph. Margaret Court’s mark of 24 titles is tantalisingly within reach yet again. Williams has played four grand slam finals in motherhood and has shown she’s lost little of her ability to dominate opponents during this phase of her career. But chances to add to her trophy cabinet won’t be there forever. And can she win seven matches at a slam, coming up regularly against high-ranked foes? It gets harder and harder.
Williams is also, remarkably, chasing a 30th spot in a grand slam final.