Naomi Osaka moved into her second successive Grand Slam final, but she was made to work very hard for it by Karolina Pliskova.
The Japanese star has now won 59 consecutive matches when taking the first set, underlining how formidable a front-runner she is.
Pliskova pulled off a famous comeback against Serena Williams just a day earlier in the quarter-finals, and that appeared to have taken its toll as she struggled to get going on Rod Laver Arena.
That allowed Osaka to dominate the first set, but once Pliskova got her body-serve going she deservedly levelled things up in the second.
However, they key period came early in the third set. Osaka saved three break points to score an essential hold of serve before breaking Pliskova in the next.
It proved crucial and, despite having to fight off further break points later in the set, allowed Osaka to close out a fine 6-2 4-6 6-4 win.
Osaka will now face Petra Kvitova, who earlier beat Danielle Collins, in Saturday’s final, where the winner will also be crowned new world number one.
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