Australian Open day nine: Serena Williams goes to summer of 1926 and Naomi Osaka’s less than purrfect cat

Naomi Osaka smiling

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will face off in a blockbuster Australian Open semi-final after both impressed on Tuesday.

Williams gained revenge for her 2019 Wimbledon final defeat by beating Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 while Osaka was a 6-2, 6-2 winner against the tricky Hsieh Su-wei.

Novak Djokovic battled to a 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Alexander Zverev and next faces remarkable qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who took full advantage of Grigor Dimitrov being hampered by a back spasm.

Picture of the day

Aslan Karatsev delighted

Russia’s Aslan Karatsev celebrates his progress against Grigor Dimitrov (Andy Brownbill/AP)

Stat of the day

Quote of the day

Clearly I’m frustrated, but I don’t need to dwell on the situation. All I can do is draw the positives out of it and get some days off and see what the next move is going to be and get back on the horse again.

Dimitrov after his unfortunate retirement

It’s been a while

Don’t give up the day job

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A post shared by 大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka)

The most stressful moment of Osaka’s day came when she decided to show her artistic side when signing the camera lens. It did not quite go to plan.

“I wasn’t going to do anything but I saw everyone else writing cool things,” she said. “I was like, ‘This is my chance to hopefully draw something cute’. Then it turned out ugly. And you can’t even tell what it is. So, yeah, it’s a cat.”

Fallen seeds

Women: Simona Halep (2)

Men: Alexander Zverev (6), Grigor Dimitrov (18)

Who’s up next?

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Rafael Nadal, who has yet to drop a set, faces his biggest test so far against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Russian friends Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev face each other while Ashleigh Barty plays Karolina Muchova and Jennifer Brady meets Jessica Pegula in the women’s last eight.

In the men’s doubles, British duo Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury are both in action with their respective partners, while wheelchair star Alfie Hewett goes for his first Australian Open singles title.

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