Serena Williams came up short during her 40th Grand Slam semifinal. The 23-time Grand Slam champion lost to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open women’s singles semifinals.
The athletes took to the court on Thursday (Feb. 18) in Melbourne. Osaka achieved her twentieth consecutive win after defeating Williams 6-3, 6-4 in the highly anticipated match up, ESPN reports. Following the match both athletes shared a hug on the court before Williams, 39, put her hand on her heart as she left.
During a press conference before the Open, Williams called Osaka an “incredible opponent” and praised the young tennis athlete for being a “very strong player.”
“I feel like she does everything well, she has a good serve, she has a great return, she’s strong on both sides,” Williams said.
Following the match, she headed to her Instagram to share the post semifinals news.
“Melbourne and my Australian fans- Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens… I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all. Your support -your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today,” she wrote.
“I am forever in debt and grateful to each and everyone single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you.”
Osaka took to her IG with a brief post following the match.
“See you in the finals #ausopen,” she captioned her post.
Osaka last won the Australian Open in 2019.
The 23-year-old will play in the Australian Open women’s singles final on Saturday (Feb. 20) at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
(Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)