Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova advanced to the final of the 2019 Australian Open on Thursday after they won their respective semi-finals.
Osaka was involved in the match of the day, as she outlasted Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to make it to the last stage of a Grand Slam for the second successive time.
In Kvitova, the U.S. Open champion will face a fierce foe, as the two-time Wimbledon winner powered past Danielle Collins 7-6 (2), 6-0.
Meanwhile, one half of the men's final is confirmed, as Rafael Nadal cruised past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in their semi-final. The Spaniard, chasing his first win at this tournament since his 2009 triumph, will face either Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille in Sunday's final.
Here are the results from an absorbing day in Melbourne and a look back at some of Thursday's highlights.
(4) Naomi Osaka bt. (7) Karolina Pliskova, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
(8) Petra Kvitova bt. Danielle Collins, 7-6 (2), 6-0
(2) Rafael Nadal bt. (14) Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0
Having clinched her first Grand Slam title by winning the U.S. Open in 2018, Osaka has carried an aura during this competition.
That was on show again on Thursday as she raced into a lead against Pliskova. Then, when the match became a challenge in the second set, the 21-year-old was able to raise her game again in the decider to ensure she advanced.
Osaka blasted 56 winners past her opponent, showcasing immense precision and power.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times commented on how much progress she has made in the previous 12 months:
Meanwhile, per the WTA Insider Twitter account, Osaka appears to be getting a taste for these big events:
In the earlier semi-final, Kvitova did a professional job against Collins, who showcased some naivety in her first appearance on this stage.
After an even first set that the Czech won in a tiebreak, Collins lost her composure at the start of the second stanza. Kvitova showed her experience to capitalise, eventually racing to a 6-0 win and booking her place in the Australian Open final for the first time.
Russell Fuller of BBC Sport commended Kvitova's resurgence following a testing time in her career:
The final match of the day had many excited, as Roger Federer's conquerer Tsitsipas went up against another icon in Nadal.
While the 20-year-old Greek was able to raise his game and get the better of the defending champion in Round 4, a razor-sharp Nadal was far too good for him throughout the contest on Thursday.
Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated was impressed by how ruthless the second seed was out on court:
It's clear Nadal has made tweaks to various facets of his game, and in the latter years of his career, his serve has become more of a weapon.
It was far too good for Tsitsipas on Thursday, as Eurosport UK noted:
It was a sad end to a breakthrough tournament for the Greek, although he will no doubt feature in the latter stages of Grand Slam events many times over in his career.
Nadal sent out a message with this staggering performance, and with an extra day of rest to enjoy, he will be confident of starting 2019 off in the best possible fashion. Should he triumph on Sunday, he would become only the third man after Rod Laver and Roy Emerson to win all of the Grand Slam events twice.