The two biggest stars in women's tennis collide on Wednesday when Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka square off in a star-studded semifinal of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Widely regarded as the greatest women's player of all-time, the 39-year-old Williams is looking to win her 24th grand slam singles title. Williams has not won a grand slam since capturing the 2017 Australian Open. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Osaka has arguably been the best player in the game since 2018 when she won the first of her three grand slam titles.
William Hill Sportsbook lists Osaka as a -150 favorite in the latest Williams vs. Osaka odds, with Williams listed as the underdog at +120. You can also pick whether Osaka will cover a 2.5-game spread or how many sets the match will last, among other 2021 Australian Open props. Before making any Williams vs. Osaka picks, see the Australian Open 2021 predictions from elite tennis handicapper Gavin Mair.
Mair is the international women's tennis expert who called unseeded Jelena Ostapenko (80-1) winning the 2017 French Open, Osaka (32-1) winning the 2018 U.S. Open, Bianca Andreescu (20-1) winning the 2019 U.S. Open, plus many other prescient calls.
Before the women's singles final in the most recent Grand Slam, the French Open, Mair picked Iga Swiatek to win (-163) in straight sets (+140), and he was right on both counts as the 19-year-old beat Simona Halep for her first title.
Now, Mair has broken down the latest 2021 Australian Open women's semifinal odds and released his coveted best bets for Osaka vs. Williams. He's sharing all his picks and analysis here.
Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka preview
The matchup between Williams and Osaka will undoubtedly bring up the events of their meeting in the 2018 U.S. Open final. In that match, Williams was warned for illegal coaching, penalized a point for breaking her racket and then penalized a game for verbal abuse of the chair umpire. The meltdown was uncharacteristic for Williams, who lost in straight sets to Osaka.
Since then, Williams has made two more grand slam finals, losing both. But in navigating a difficult draw in Melbourne, Williams has shown form that is arguably her best in some time. "It is clear that Williams is benefitting from hard work during the offseason to improve her fitness and movement," Calvert said.
In the 2021 Australian Open semifinals, Williams will meet Osaka, a player whose game most closely resembles Williams' more than any other player. The former No. 1 player in the world, Osaka owns a big serve, foot speed, and a power game that is capable of dominating opponents. That game has earned her two U.S. Open titles and one Australian Open crown.
In five matches so far in Melbourne, Osaka has demonstrated near flawless form. She has dropped only one set in the tournament and is coming off a dominant 6-2, 6-2 victory over the unconventional Su-Wei Hsieh in the quarterfinals. On Wednesday, she will meet Williams for the fourth time; Osaka leads the series 2-1.
How to make Osaka vs. Williams picks
Will Osaka roll through this round, or will Williams pull off an upset? Mair has released confident picks on the winner, as well as advice on set betting. Be sure to see Mair's picks and analysis before making your Australian Open 2021 picks for the women's semifinal.
Who wins Osaka vs. Williams in the 2021 Australian Open women's singles semifinals? And what set pick is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Gavin Mair's Williams vs. Osaka bets, all from the acclaimed expert who hit big in the last Grand Slam women's final.