Osaka vs Williams: how and where to watch Australian Open semi-final - times, TV, online
All the information you need on how and where to watch the Australian Open women's semi-final between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams in Melbourne.
Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will go head-to-head at Melbourne Park on Thursday for a place in the semi-finals of the 2021 Australian Open in a continuation of one of the most fascinating duels in the game. Williams remains in search of an elusive 24th Grand Slam triumph to move level with Margaret Court, her two-decade long dominance of the women’s game having diminished somewhat as a new generation of heavy-hitters has emerged to challenge the all-conquering American. Osaka, chief among those pretenders to the throne, was personally responsible for denying Williams number 24 on home turf at Flushing Meadows in 2018, the Japanese player presenting her credentials as the natural successor in a crushing straight-sets victory.
Osaka and Williams have only met three times, with the younger player holding a 2-1 advantage. However, the American won their last encounter in Toronto in 2019 for the loss of seven games. No contest between the two has gone beyond two sets and Osaka allowed Williams only 11 games in total over the course of her two wins at the US Open and Miami.
Some players, most notably Martina Hingis, have deployed court craft against Williams during the course of her reign, fighting her incredible power with angles and making the American do all the running. Osaka, schooled in the era of baseline attrition, fights fire with fire and few players on the WTA tour crack the ball with greater ferocity. On the all-time list of fastest serves, Williams sits sixth and Osaka 12th, both players sending the ball down at over 200kmph. But even on the ground Osaka is capable of blowing opponents away with a forehand that touches 120kmph and a backhand that is, crucially, only a couple of ticks less powerful.
Williams packs a similar punch off both wings and her years of experience have given her a defensive game that is incredible difficult to break down. The American great needed all of those qualities to get past Aryna Sabalenka, her equal in terms of power, and Simona Halep, one of few players who can outwit Williams, to reach the semi-finals.
What time does the Osaka vs Williams match start?
The Australian Open 2021 semi-final match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will be played at Melbourne Park, Melbourne on Thursday 18 February, with the tie getting underway at the local time of 2pm (AEDT).
US (ET): 10pm
US (PT): 7pm
UK (GMT): 3am
Central Europe (CET): 4am
Where can I watch Osaka vs Williams?
In the US, the match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will be broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and the Tennis Channel. The match can also be streamed on fuboTV, ESPN+, Sling, Hulu + Live TV.
In the UK and Europe, viewers can see the match on Eurosport. The match will also be available on the Bet365 app for viewers in the UK, Europe and Australia.