Naomi Osaka Saves Match Points To Knock Out Muguruza - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Saves Match Points To Knock Out Muguruza




Naomi Osaka (@AustralianOpen on Twitter)

Naomi Osaka produced an extraordinary comeback from match point down in the decider to stun Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-4 7-5 and book her quarter-final place at the 2021 Australian Open.


The Japanese player, 23, looked to be heading out of the tournament at 3-5 and 15-40 in the third set. But she summoned her best tennis when she needed it most to turn the contest around.

“I was a bit intimidated because I knew she was playing really coming into this match,” Osaka said in her on-court interview. “In the stressful points I had to go within myself. I know I probably hit a lot of unforced errors, but it was something I needed to do because I couldn’t really give her any short balls because she would finish it.”

Although Muguruza did not do a lot wrong, this was still a big opportunity that passed her by. She was in excellent form and she would have had a great chance to win her first Grand Slam title since 2017 if she had beaten the World No.3, who was one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Muguruza seizes the initiative

Garbine Muguruza (@Australian Open on Twitter)

Osaka started the match superbly. She hit a couple of aces and a series of fierce groundstrokes to open up a 2-0 lead. However, she double faulted at 30-30 in game three and Muguruza pounced to break back and then held to make it 2-2.

The next four games only took about 10 minutes as both players settled into a good rhythm on serve and moved the score along to 4-4.

Muguruza put Osaka under pressure immediately in game nine with a crisp forehand winner. And the Japanese player faltered. She made three unforced errors to hand the Spaniard a break at a critical time.

Muguruza made sure she did not give Osaka a way back into the set. She served well and drew a couple of errors from her opponent’s racket as she held to clinch the opener 6-4.

Osaka hits back

Muguruza maintained her momentum early in the second set. She hit a classy forehand winner and a precise lob to gain an immediate break. She then held to love to make it 2-0.

Osaka stopped the rot in style with a forehand winner and two aces during a love hold that took just 48 seconds. Then the Spaniard gave her a route back into the set by making a series of errors to surrender her serve.

The middle of the second set mirrored the first. Both players serenely held serve twice to make it 4-4 once again. The World No.3 then held again to lead 5-4.

At the end of the first set, it was Osaka who slipped up. In the last game of the second set, it was Muguruza’s turn. She made three unforced errors to provide the Japanese player with three break points, and the three-time Grand Slam champion took the third to level the match.

Osaka snatches victory from the jaws of defeat

Naomi Osaka (@AustralianOpen on Twitter)

The decider went with serve for the first four games. Then Osaka made a sloppy error and a double fault to hand Muguruza a break. She threw her racket away and looked very frustrated at the changeover.

After a gutsy hold from the Spaniard made it 4-2, both players produced some excellent tennis to hold serve and move the score along to 5-3.

It looked as if the Japanese player was about to meekly surrender when she made three consecutive errors to hand Muguruza two match points.

With her place in the Australian Open slipping away, Osaka somehow found strength within. She saved the first match point with a huge ace and drilled a forehand into the corner to force an error from the Spaniard on the second. Then she struck a forehand winner and an ace to secure the hold.

The World No.3 cranked up the pressure on Muguruza when she was serving for the match with some massive hitting. The Spaniard managed to save two break points, but Osaka hit two consecutive winners to seize it and level the score at 5-5.

By this stage, Muguruza was starting to look forlorn as she wondered whether her chance had gone. She played two excellent points in game eleven but the Japanese player held comfortably.

Any fighting spirit within the Spaniard seemed to leave her in the next game. She made three unforced errors and dropped her serve to love. And just like that, her Melbourne dream was over.

Hsieh awaits Osaka in last eight

Osaka, meanwhile, must now prepare for a quarter-final with one of this year’s surprise packages, Su-Wei Hsieh. The inventive 35-year-old from Chinese Taipei thrashed 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 6-2. And the Japanese star is very familiar with her game after five previous meetings.

“I’m not really looking forward to it,” Osaka admitted. “She’s going to be really tough. Every time I played her it was three sets and really long.”

She continued, “All the people she’s played are super-difficult. And I feel like when I play her, I just have to expect everything.”

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.




Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.


Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Why Ash Barty Isn’t Staying At The Olympic Village In Tokyo

The two-time Grand Slam champion has opted to stay at an alternate venue heading into the Games.




Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Ash Barty will prepare for her debut at the Olympic Games by staying at a base located outside of the athletes village as part of her ‘performance plan.’


The world No.1 heads into Tokyo as one of the favourites for gold following her triumph at Wimbledon where she defeated Karolina Pliskova in the final. She is one of six top 10 players set to play in the women’s singles tournament which will start on Saturday.

Leading up to the Games, the head of the Australian Olympic delegation has told reporters that Barty’s decision not to stay in the village will enhance her gold medal chances. In previous Games athletes have stayed outside of the villages but this year it is more challenging to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency and fans are banned from attending the event amid fears of the virus spreading if they do so.

“Ash is staying elsewhere,” chef de mission Ian Chesterman told the Australian Associated Press.
“We have a number of athletes staying outside the village. We allow that, it’s just what works best for them.
“Something I’ve always been very big on is driving performance takes a whole lot of flexible decisions, flexible options.
“In terms of her performance plan, it’s best served by her being able to control her environment and we respect that.”

The exact location of Barty’s base has not been disclosed but it is near to the village where she was said to have visited and had a cup of coffee on Tuesday morning.

She is staying in an Australian environment where she can still easily access the village,” Chesterman stated.

The 25-year-old is bidding to become only the second Australian in history to win a medal in the women’s singles at the Olympics. The first was Alicia Molik who claimed a bronze medal back in 2004.

During a recent interview with The ITF, Barty said playing at the event is a dream come true for her as she describes representing her country as the ‘highest honour.’

“Being an Olympian has always been a dream of mine as a kid, I think representing your country is the highest honour,” Barty told the ITF.
“For an Aussie it’s the best thing you can do and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to wear the green and gold.
“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself. You’re playing to represent your nation. You’re playing to make people proud and that’s not just with results it’s with your attitude.”

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Bianca Andreescu pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The world number five has officially pulled out of the Olympics in Tokyo stating reasons due to the ongoing pandemic situation.




Bianca Andreescu will not be making the trip to Tokyo to play in the Olympics after withdrawing due to the current pandemic situation.


The former US Open champion issued a statement concerning what she describes as a ‘difficult decision.’ Andreescu is the latest top name to pull out of the Olympics. Last week Nick Kyrgios also said he wouldn’t be playing for similar reasons. Due to a a surge of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the city has gone into a state of emergency which prompted organisers to ban spectators from attending Olympic events in the city. Athletes will be subjected to tough restrictions during their time at the event, as well as regular testing.

” I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month,” Andreescu wrote on Instagram. “I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself. I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris! “

The Canadian hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Wimbledon to Alize Cornet of France and most recently split with her coach Sylvain Brunneau after a four-year partnership.

Her 2021 season has been up and down starting in Australia where she lost in the second round before making the semifinals at the Phillips Island Trophy event. She then made the final at the Miami Open before taking a fall in the final against Ash Barty and was forced to retire due to injury.

Then the clay-court season came and Andreescu tested positive for Covid. She was forced to miss events in Madrid and Rome, so she headed to Strasbourg for some preparation before the French Open. The world No.5 won two matches in Strasbourg before pulling out due to an ab injury. She then lost in the first round of the French Open.

The Canadian moved on to the grass-court season heading to Berlin but again would get upset in the first round by Alize Cornet before winning one round in Eastbourne and losing to Anett Kontaveit.

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