Naomi Osaka Impresses In Crushing Win Over Yastremska - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Impresses In Crushing Win Over Yastremska

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Naomi Osaka charged into the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open in New York with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 win over Dayana Yastremska.

 

The Japanese player, 22, is taking part in her first event since February but she seems to have quickly shaken off the rustiness in her game.

“This match was really different from my last match,” Osaka said. “She’s a really talented player and I never know what’s going to be a winner, so I needed to keep my emotions in check.”

She continued, “The serve is a really important part of my game and I’ve been trying to tune it up. My percentages on it still weren’t that high today so hopefully as I play more matches it will get better.”

It was important for Osaka to play well today because Yastremska is a dangerous opponent. She strikes the ball hard and can hit winners from anywhere along the baseline. She is also currently being coached by the two-time Grand Slam champion’s former coach, Sascha Bajin.

However, the Ukrainian is also erratic. And the Japanese took full advantage of that characteristic early in the match.

In game three, Yastremska earned two chances to break with some huge hitting. Then she wasted both break points with wild errors. Osaka immediately punished her. She overwhelmed the Ukrainian with the power of her strikes in the next game and broke to move 3-1 ahead.

With the break secured, the Japanese focused on holding serve for the rest of the set. She managed it comfortably and soon wrapped up the set 6-3.

Osaka dominates

At the beginning of the second set, Osaka demonstrated the growing maturity in her tennis. She produced a thrilling exhibition of precise power-hitting to break Yastremska in the first game. Then she saved three break points in style – the first with a winner and the second and third with huge aces – on the way to an important hold.

The Japanese continued to play well throughout the second set. She gave nothing away on her serve and she capitalised on the Ukrainian’s sloppiness to break for a 4-1 lead. Then Osaka broke Yastremska again to seal her place in the last eight.

The World No.10 will play Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-final. The Estonian beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-3 earlier in the day and she is in superb form. She reached the final in Palermo a couple of weeks ago and she has won all three of her matches at the Western & Southern Open in straight sets. Considering these results, her match with Osaka has the potential to be very exciting.

Sabalenka crashes out

Elsewhere in New York, Aryna Sabalenka surprisingly lost 6-2 2-6 6-3 to World No.83 Jessica Pegula. The American is not well-known in the tennis world, but she is having one of the best weeks of her career at the Western & Southern Open, and it is clear from her victory today that she should not be underestimated by anyone in the draw.

Pegula’s next opponent will be Elise Mertens. The Belgian ended the run of Karolina Pliskova’s conqueror Veronika Kudermetova with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win. In the other half of the draw, Victoria Azarenka progressed to the last eight when she defeated Alize Cornet 6-4 7-5.

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Gael Monfils advances to Australian Open fourth round without dropping a set

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Gael Monfils has reached the second week at the Australian Open with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-3 win over Cristian Garin. 

 

Garin saved an early break point and took a 4-2 lead in the tie-break with an early mini-break in the opening set, but Monfils came back by winning five consecutive points to claim the tie-break 7-4. 

Monfils earned two early breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead in the second set. Garin pulled one break back at love in the fifth game for 1-4, but Monfils broke for the third time to close out the second set 6-1. 

Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games of the third set. Monfils broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, when Garin made three unforced errors. The Frenchman saved a break point in a 18-point game in the sixth game and held serve with his 17th ace and broke serve to close out the match with a forehand volley winner. 

The Frenchman has not dropped a set so far this week and recorded five sets at 6-1 or better this week. Earlier this year he won the Adelaide International 1 title.

“It was a tough match, the conditions were different today. It was hot. It was quicker. I felt that I needed to adapt the game plan a little bit. He was playing well. He was playing well. I had to battle  and was very lucky and fortunate to win this breaker in the first set, and I just think I was solid enough to win in straight sets”, said Monfils. 

Monfils will be aiming to reach his 10th Grand Slam quarter final against Miomir Kecmanovic, who beat Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-2 7-5. 

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Pablo Carreno Busta reaches the fourth round at the Australian Open for the third time in his career

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Pablo Carreno Busta reaches the second week in Melbourne after a four-set win over Sebastian Korda

 

Pablo Carreno Busta beat Sebastian Korda 6-4 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in their first head-to-head match after 3 hours and 27 minutes to advance to the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne for the third time in his career after achieving this feat in 2018 and 2019. 

Carreno Busta will take on Matteo Berrettini, who beat reigning Next Gen ATP champion Carlos Alcaraz 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 2-6 7-6 (10-5). 

Carreno Busta earned his first break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Korda broke straight back on his third break point in the ninth game. Carreno Busta broke again on his eighth set point to seal the first set 6-4. 

The Spanish player hit 18 winners to just 8 unforced errors and got the crucial break in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. 

Korda came back from 3-5 down to win a tight tie-break 8-6 in the third set. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the fourth set. Carreno Busta earned two breaks in the fifth and eighth games to close out the fourth set when Korda hit a forehand wide. 

Carreno Busta reached the US Open semifinals twice in 2017 and 2020 and won two ATP Tour titles in Hamburg and Marbella in 2021. 

Korda was aiming to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the third time after achieving this feat at Roland Garros in 2020 and Wimbledon in 2021. 

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Denis Shapovalov Handles Opelka To Reach Australian Open Fourth Round

The Canadian managed to get past his 6ft 11 American opponent in a match that lasted over three hours.

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Denis Shapovalov - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Denis Shapovalov is into the fourth round of the Australian Open after beating 23rd seed Reilly Opelka 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in three hours and two minutes on Margeret Court Arena.

 

The Canadian hit 39 winners and served 10 aces while limiting Opelka to just 17 aces. In contrast the American finished the match with a costly 46 unforced errors as Shapovalov booked his spot in the second week of the tournament.

” I think I did a really good job against Reilly (Opelka) today and I took a lot of my chances and managed to get a read on his serve,” said the world No.14.

Both players were doing a good job early on when it came to holding serve and at 3-3 it was the Toronto native who had three chances to break. On his third opportunity broke serve with his trademark backhand winner.

However, that break didn’t last long for Shapovalov as he struggled to consolidate the break and ultimately gave the break right back with a poor service game and it was back on serve at 4-4.

The first was decided by a tiebreaker and Shapovalov got the crucial break to take a 3-1 lead in the breaker which was enough for him to take the first set.

The second frame was much like the first with both players holding serve until 3-3 when Opelka broke serve. He was able to consolidate and serve out the set to level the match.

The third set stayed on serve until 3-2 and the momentum swung back in the Canadians favor. He got the break of serve this time using his forehand to great effect and served out the third to take a two sets to one lead.

Just like the third set the fourth set had no breaks until 3-2 when again the number 14 seed broke Opelka serve again and that break of serve was enough for him to serve out the match and the win.

After the match in his post-match interview, he was asked how he was able to limit his opponent to just 17 aces in the match.

” It’s never easy against Reilly (Opelka) but I am happy I was able to pull through and make it to the next round”. He said.

Shapovalov will face the number three seed Alexander Zverev in the round of 16.

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