MELBOURNE – A brief biography of Australian Open finalist Naomi Osaka after she beat Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park on Thursday:
Naomi Osaka (JPN)
World ranking: 4
Age: 21 (16/10/1997)
Place of birth: Osaka, Japan
Plays: Right-handed/two-handed backhand
Coach: Aleksander Bajin
Career titles in total: 2
Grand Slam titles: 1
Career prize money: $7,682,862
An aggressive baseliner whose favourite shot is forehand, Osaka played the first events of her career on the ITF circuit in 2012 in the United States, where she moved as a three-year-old.
She contested her first WTA qualifying tournaments a year later and made two main draw appearances in 2014, reaching round two at Stanford and the first round at Osaka.
Voted WTA newcomer of the year in 2016, she finished the season inside the top 40 for the first time after advancing to four quarter-finals.
But it was her win over Serena Williams in the US Open final last year that propelled her into the stratosphere.
She ended the season inside the top 10 and as one of the hottest properties in tennis.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)