U.S. Open champ Naomi Osaka reaches Australian Open semifinals

Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts during a match against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open. (Kin Cheung/AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Naomi Osaka reached the Australian Open semifinals for the first time by stretching her Grand Slam winning streak to 12 matches.

The 21-year-old from Japan moved closer to a second consecutive major championship by parlaying her aggressive and powerful style into a 31-11 edge in winners that helped her put together a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina on Wednesday at Melbourne Park.

"I tried to be consistent," the No. 4-seeded Osaka said, "or as consistent as I can."

She never had been past the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Osaka’s semifinal opponent will be No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova.

Osaka beat Williams for the championship at the U.S. Open in September in a match filled with all sorts of drama involving the American star and the chair umpire.

On Wednesday, Svitolina had her neck and shoulders massaged by a trainer during a medical timeout while trailing 3-0 in the second set.

The No. 6 seed from Ukraine said afterward that she had been troubled by pain in that area since the start of the tournament.

"Unfortunately I couldn’t produce 100 per cent the game that I wanted," Svitolina said. "But in the end, she was just playing better today."

Later Wednesday, in the men’s quarterfinals, 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic was to meet No. 28 Lucas Pouille during the afternoon, while 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic was scheduled to face 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori at night.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.