Miami Open: Naomi Osaka sets up SF appointment with familiar foe, Belinda Bencic

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Miami Open: Naomi Osaka sets up SF appointment with familiar foe, Belinda Bencic

Naomi Osaka posted a comfortable win over ninth seed Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open on Tuesday. The former world no. 1 dropped just three games, winning 6-2, 6-1 in exactly 60 minutes. Osaka dominated the American both on serve and return.

She hit 13 aces, won 87% of her first-serve and 50% of her second-serve points, and faced no break points throughout the match. In comparison, Collins had five aces and seven double faults, won 58% of her first-serve and just 32% of her second-serve points.

She was also broken five times across the match. In terms of winners and unforced errors, Osaka had 25 winners to Collins’ 18 but where the Japanese had just three unforced errors, the 2022 Australian Open champion finished with almost thrice as many, with 16.

Post-match, Osaka said, “After Australia, I was training really hard every day. I went to Indian Wells with the intention to do really well, and then I didn't. But Wim told me, Listen, you're playing really well.

But it's hard to listen to someone tell you you're playing well without having the results to back it up. I'm glad that, in a way, I don't have a good ranking, because I'm able to play the matches that I need to play.

I feel like I'm the type of person that plays better with more matches, so actually having back-to-back matches benefits me a lot”.

Miami Open: Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic reignite rivalry

This is the first time in her career that Osaka’s made it to the semis in Miami.

For a place in the final, the four-time Slam champion will play Belinda Bencic. The 22nd seed stopped Daria Saville 6-1, 6-2 in their quarter-final clash in an hour and nine minutes. The Swiss won 63% of her first-serve points while Saville won 50%.

However, where Bencic won 66% of her second-serve points, Saville could only win 21% points off her second serves. The match saw multiple break-point chances being created by both players. But while Bencic saved seven of the eight break points, she faced, Saville lost her serve six of the 11 times she faced a break point.

The Miami Open semi-final will be the fifth time Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic will be playing against each other. While Osaka won their first match back in 2013, it’s been Bencic who’s since dominated their rivalry, winning the last three matches all of which were played in 2019.