Serena Williams’s respected dominance across her sports has been nothing short of amazing. In a must-see matchup between her phenom and Naomi Osaka at this year’s Australian Open, ESPN saw its highest ratings spike for the event in four years.
ESPN 2 had 1.41 million viewers tuning into Wednesday night’s women’s semifinal match, which started at 9 pm. Peak viewership hit 1.63 million for the final 15 minutes of the match. The entire broadcast, which included Jennifer Brady’s win over Karolina Muchova, ran until 2 am and averaged 806,000 viewers. The entire broadcast was the highest rated Australian Open window since 2017.
A stellar performance by Naomi Osaka led to a 6-3, 6-4 victory. She is headed to the Australian Open final. She will face the 22nd seeded, American Brady on Saturday.
“I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today, but I was a little kid watching her play,” the 23-year-old Osaka said about Williams, 39, “and just to be on the court playing against her, for me, is a dream,” she told ESPN.