China Open: Eighth seed Naomi Osaka overcomes difficult start to defeat Zhang Shuai and reach semi-finals

US Open winner Naomi Osaka suffered a difficult start to her quarter-final match, being broken on her first two serves, but fought through tears to beat Zhang Shui and reach the semi-finals.

Agence France-Presse October 05, 2018 15:03:07 IST
China Open: Eighth seed Naomi Osaka overcomes difficult start to defeat Zhang Shuai and reach semi-finals

Beijing: US Open champion Naomi Osaka overcame her emotions to roar back and defeat unseeded Zhang Shuai 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a roller-coaster China Open quarter-final on Friday.

China Open Eighth seed Naomi Osaka overcomes difficult start to defeat Zhang Shuai and reach semifinals

Naomi Osaka was frustrated early on in the match, but composed herself to come back and win. AFP

The 20-year-old Japanese was broken on her first two service games and had tears in her eyes as the match threatened to slip away in the second set. But the world number six gathered herself and — although she continued to look glum and flung her racquet about — found the resolve to pull through over three nail-biting sets.

Osaka faces either of the unseeded duo of Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova or Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in the last four. The 45th-ranked Zhang — with the Beijing crowd on her side — raced into an early lead against an unusually erratic Osaka, who had won 24 of her previous 28 games.

The eighth seed, who stunned Serena Williams to win her maiden Grand Slam last month in New York, belatedly began finding some range. But she continued to rack up errors and conceded the first set when she hit into the net. She was to make 66 unforced errors in all.

The 29-year-old Zhang, who has won two career WTA singles titles, saved six break points to take the lead in the second set. Zhang broke to go 2-0 up and Osaka — who has admitted struggling with the fall-out from the US Open final, when Williams rowed with the chair umpire — began welling up.

But Osaka defied her emotions to avoid the upset, although she barely raised a smile even in victory.

In the men's quarter-finals, the Italian Fabio Fognini continued his march towards a fourth title of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.

Updated Date:

also read

France's Alize Cornet beats Garbine Muguruza to reach semi-finals in Berlin WTA tournament
Sports

France's Alize Cornet beats Garbine Muguruza to reach semi-finals in Berlin WTA tournament

Cornet, currently 63rd in the world, dug deep to seal a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Spain's two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza, now ranked 13th, after almost three hours on court.

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King
Sports

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King

A look back at the two weeks of French Open which crowned Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova as the men's and women's champions.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: From Naomi Osaka to Sifan Hassan, a look at five stars to keep an eye on at Games
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: From Naomi Osaka to Sifan Hassan, a look at five stars to keep an eye on at Games

Five stars to watch at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which start on 23 July after a year's delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.