Naomi Osaka needed just 66 minutes to end the quest of Su-Wei Hsieh in the quarter-final of the Australian Open on Tuesday. The world no. 3 won 6-2, 6-2. Osaka dictated play from the start and kept redirecting the ball side-to-side forcing Hsieh to play defensively instead of her usual game.
This tactic also amply brought out the errors off Hsieh’s racquet which allowed Osaka to control the match momentum further.
Australian Open: Naomi Osaka heads into familiar territory
In the opening set, the 2019 Australian Open champion broke Hsieh’s serve thrice including in the eighth game while the latter was trying to stay in it.
While Osaka hit 10 winners and unforced errors each, Hsieh’s unforced error count was three times her winner count – 15 to five. The former world no. 1 continued to bear down on her opponent with the same game-plan in the second set as well.
And once again, she went ahead in the score in the same manner as she had done in the first set. Despite the lopsided way the match was turning out for her, Hsieh had one more fight left in her. In the eighth game of the second set, Hsieh saved three match points and brought up a game point of her own to try and extend the match by one more game, at the least.
However, as it turned out, it was her last fight as Osaka nipped that game point and brought up a third match point of her own to end the 35-year-old’s journey in the quarter-finals. Osaka served seven aces, won a staggering 92% points off her first serves to her opponent’s 59%.
She also finished the match with 24 winners and 14 unforced errors while Hsieh had the almost opposite numbers – 14 winners to 23 unforced errors. After this win, Naomi Osaka bettered her head-to-head against Hsieh to five wins and just the one loss.
Of the four previous times they had faced each other, one meeting came in the third round of the 2019 Australian Open. Meanwhile, in the semi-final of the 2021 Australian Open, Osaka awaits the winner of the Serena Williams-Simona Halep quarter-final clash.