Third seed Naomi Osaka had to work hard to capture a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ons Jabeur in their third-round match at the Australian Open on Friday. The 2019 Australian Open champion struggled for most parts of the match – especially on her serve.
However, in those scattered moments of the match in which she was able to collect her game, Osaka bested her opponent convincingly. Jabeur had five break points across Osaka’s three opening service games but the 27th seed was unable to convert any.
Eventually, it was she who found herself down a service break in the sixth game of the set. Osaka handed the break right back in the seventh game as she failed to consolidate the break. However, despite the exchange of breaks, the former world no.
1 ended up retaining the slightest sliver of advantageousness the match had to offer. A second break of Jabeur’s serve as she attempted to consolidate the break back gave Osaka the chance to serve out the set – which she did.
The second set followed a similar trajectory – although, this time there were no break backs for Jabeur to be had – and Osaka wrapped up the win after 78 minutes. Both players faced seven break points each but Osaka had the margin both in terms of saving them and converting them.
She saved six of the break points she faced while converting four break points. The Japanese finished with 26 winners and 28 unforced errors to the Tunisian’s 17 winners and 33 unforced errors.
Australian Open: Su-Wei Hsieh rolls on
In the pre-quarter-final, Osaka will take on 14th seed Garbine Muguruza.
The Spaniard came up with yet another strong showing, winning 6-3, 6-1 against Zarina Diyas in their third-round clash. Su-Wei Hsieh turned an almost-lost match into a victorious affair in her round-of-32 meeting against Sara Errani.
Hsieh came from a break down twice in the deciding set to claim a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win against the qualifier. Errani led 2-0 in the final set before Hsieh levelled the set for the first time. Following a second break of serve a couple of games later, the Italian even served for the match at 5-3 but Hsieh had one last comeback trick left in store.
And she used this trick to win four games on the trot to book her place in the second week of the event. Hsieh will play 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova in the round-of-16. The Czech defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-4 in the third round.
Earlier, the first win of the day in the women’s draw at the Australian Open was that of Aryna Sabalenka. The seventh seed put an end to Ann Li’s heroics with a 6-3, 6-1 win in their third-round match-up. The Belarusian will play Serena Williams for a place in the quarter-finals.