Petra Kvitova ends Collins' magical run, storms into first Aus Open final

When it did, she broke out in a smile as exuberant as the cheers in Rod Laver Arena.

The world no. 8 stormed through the opening set tie-break, dropping only two points to clinch the set. We're referring to the announcement, at four-all in the first set of her semifinal match against Danielle Collins on Thursday (Jan 24), that tournament officials had chose to close the roof. "I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater".

There's the before - two Wimbledon titles - and her "second career" - which so far is highlighted by her run to Saturday's Australian Open final. First, she was called for a foot fault, and then after successfully serving, she rolled her left ankle.

"You know, that´s why I worked pretty hard to be back here". Not just physically, but mentally too it was very tough.

Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova thinks "not very many people believed" she could return to the top of the sport after she suffered multiple injuries during a knife attack in 2016.

"Somehow I made it, so I guess that's experience". "I tried to regroup in the third set".

Japan's Osaka defeated Kvitova's fellow Czech, Karolina Pliskova, who beat Serena Williams to qualify for the last four, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the second semi-final.

While 21-year-old Osaka will be striving to become the first woman to land consecutive majors since the great Serena Williams in 2015, Kvitova is driven by vastly different reasons.

She now awaits Karolina Pliskova or Naomi Osaka in the final.

"Over the past 10 years, I've had plenty of success here". Osaka has been watching Kvitova for a long time, though.

"Every single match I play, whether I'm coming back from a baby or a surgery or it doesn't matter, these young ladies bring a game that I've never seen before". For the second set alone, Kvitova won 90% points off her first sets. In the final there can be only two players.

Sharma, who is playing in front of the biggest crowd in her life, is still trying to take it all in.

Remarkably, Saturday will be the first time No 5 Osaka and No 8 Kvitova will face each other in any round of any tournament.

She hit an ace on match point.

Japan's Naomi Osaka serves to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, on January 24, 2019. The Japanese demolished WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina for the loss of five games in her quarter-final on Wednesday night.

She wasn't allowing the Japanese as much width, and found herself with three break points in the second game.

But don't sleep on Kvitova: She has yet to drop a set this tournament.

Women's doubles final: Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai beat No. 2 Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4.

Osaka burnished her reputation as one of the cleanest hitters of the ball in women's tennis by smacking winners nearly at will from both her forehand and backhand under the roof of the Rod Laver Arena which was closed due to extreme heat.