Osaka, Kvitova in summit clash
Fourth seed Naomi Osaka outgunned Karolina Pliskova to set up an Australian Open final against Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova
Fourth seed Naomi Osaka outgunned Karolina Pliskova to set up an Australian Open final against Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova.
The 21-year-old Japanese star overcame the seventh seed 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to reach a second straight Grand Slam decider after her breakthrough triumph over Serena Williams at last year's US Open.
Petra Kvitova defeated Danielle Collins 7-6 (2), 6-0 to reach her first Australian Open final.
Brave Kvitova admitted it had been "a long journey" to make the Australian Open final after a knife-wielding burglar slashed her racquet hand in an attack that left her traumatised and scared to be alone.
The 28-year-old feared she may never play tennis again after the 33-year-old man broke into her apartment in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov just weeks before the opening Grand Slam of 2017.
She suffered career-threatening injuries to her left hand as she fought him off.
Despite grim forecasts by doctors, who even warned she might lose her fingers, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion never gave up believing and miraculously returned to the sport in time for the 2017 French Open.
But she was still struggling mentally, admitting it took time to regain her confidence.