Rome: Naomi Osaka impressively ousts No. 10 seed, could face Slam finalist in R16

Osaka delivered a great performance to earn a two-set win over Daria Kasatkina in the Rome third round.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Rome: Naomi Osaka impressively ousts No. 10 seed, could face Slam finalist in R16
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has clinched a very notable win over Daria Kasatkina in the Rome Open third round.

Osaka, who is playing in Rome this week for the first time since 2021, ousted No. 10 seed Kasatkina 6-3 6-3 to progress in the round-of-16 at Foro Italico for just the second time in her career. 

By beating Kasatkina, Osaka earned her first back-to-back wins on clay this season. Also, Osaka improved to 2-0 versus Kasatkina as she previously also beat the Russian in their first meeting in the 2018 Indian Wells final.

For a place in the Rome quarterfinal, Osaka will be battling against either 2024 Australian Open finalist Zheng Qinwen or rising Czech star Linda Noskova.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene
 

How Osaka beat Kasatkina?

Osaka came out firing, claiming an early break for a 3-0 lead and she also had a chance to go up by a double break but Kasatkina managed to save two consecutive break points in the fourth game and finally get on the board. 

In the fifth game, Osaka experienced first potential danger on her serve but saved two break points to go 4-1 up. But Kasatkina kept pressing and earned another break points in the seventh game - and this time she realized to get the break back. 

However, blowing an early break didn't impact Osaka, who responded by breaking Kasatkina again in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead before routinely serving out for the opener in the following game.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene
 

After winning the last two games of the first set, Osaka also won the opening two games of the second set.

Down by a set and a break, Kasatkina managed to get back the early second set break and tie the set to two games apiece. 

But once again Osaka remained unfazed as the former world No. 1 still went on to seal a two-set win after collecting breaks in the fifth and ninth games. 

Naomi Osaka Daria Kasatkina
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