Dream Osaka and Serena showdown one step closer
Naomi Osaka had said if she was playing a tennis video game, she'd pick Su-Wei Hsieh as her character.
In doing so, the Japanese ace might have sold herself short.
It was no neck-and-neck battle between Mario and Luigi when Osaka and Hsieh met in their Australian Open quarterfinal on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.
Osaka was quick out of the blocks and avoided any banana peels Hsieh tried to put in her way as she stormed to a 6-2 6-2 triumph and a fifth Grand Slam semi-final berth.
"I'm really happy with how I played," Osaka said.
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"Every time I play her, it is always such a battle. Even though the score was like this, it was really another battle for me."
Hsieh looked like a player who was competing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal - which was the case - as the world No. 71 was outclassed by a near-flawless Osaka in a match that lasted just 66 minutes.
The third-seed's service game was on song, her unforced errors low and her power-hitting simply too much for Hsieh to handle.
Hsieh tried to work her opponent to all corners of the court, as is her regular style, but the 35-year-old rarely managed to land a winner.
A calm and calculated Osaka looked every bit the tournament favourite that she is in what was her fourth straight-sets win from five matches.
The exception was a fourth round clash with Garbine Muguruza, in which Osaka fought back from a 4-6 first set defeat and saved two match points in the third set to triumph.
The 2019 Australian Open champion, Osaka became the first player through to the final four in the women's draw as she looks to back up victory at the US Open last year.
Osaka will meet the winner of Tuesday night's match between Simona Halep and Serena Williams in the semi-finals.
Originally published as Dream Osaka, Serena showdown one step closer