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Visibly emotional Osaka through to first championship final since 2021 Australian Open

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Former world number one Naomi Osaka has reached a championship match for the first time since the 2021 Australian Open. 

Osaka’s eyes welled with tears when her match against Belinda Bencic ended, an all-too-familiar scene for her in recent years.

Only this time these were tears of the happy variety.

The unseeded Osaka defeated number 22 Bencic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Miami Open semi-finals.

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Osaka will meet incoming world number one Iga Świątek in the final after the Pole advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Jessica Pegula.

Świątek will replace Australia’s Ash Barty as number one on the WTA rankings when they are updated next week.

“Damn, I’m almost crying,” Osaka said.

Perhaps more than almost.

Osaka hid her face in an orange towel a few times right after the match ended, at least one tear clearly making its way down her right cheek.

Osaka was all smiles in her post-match media conference. (TPN/Getty Images)

Osaka entered the tournament ranked number 77 in the world, but will leave Miami no worse than 36th and would be back in the top 30 if she wins the title.

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