In three of the five precedents with Su-Wei Hsieh, Naomi Osaka had always had to play a third set and lost on one occasion, in Miami 2019. This time, however, she entered the field determined and led from start to finish, reaching the semi-final.
We hope that Naomi is not superstitious, because in these hours she writes about her fantastic record in the Slam tournaments: when she reached the quarter-finals she always won. She partially confirmed her by beating Hsieh in the quarterfinals: "I would be more impressed if I never lost in the final," commented Osaka.
“I've only played four times in the Grand Slam quarter-finals. I like to be more consistent and from the US Open onwards I have been." In fact, Naomi has won all the last 19 games played (in between there are two forfeits, in the final in Cincinnati against Azarenka and in the semifinal of the Gippsland Trophy against Mertens).
She came very close to losing in the fourth round to Muguruza, when she came back from 3-5 15-40 in the third set. "My confidence increased after that match," she admitted. "You are a quality opponent and I had my back against the wall.
Somehow I had an opportunity to get out of it. I wouldn't really say trust in reality, it's more freedom to play my game." After her match today, the Japanese star made a noteworthy revelation. She said when she was younger, she would watch matches of Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.
Osaka on watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Elaborating on it, Naomi Osaka stated, “I grew up watching Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. It’s just more of a habit than anything. I feel like everyone in the tournament watches her like whenever I go to the locker room, there are always people just lounging around and stuff”.
Watching these great legends play is something that most of the youngsters have spent time doing over the years. There is so much to learn from these players, the manner in which they carry themselves on the court and off it is admirable.
Coming back to tennis and the Australian Open, Serena Williams and Simona Halep will play their quarterfinal match later today. Naomi is awaiting the winner of that match. Serena Williams has equalled Roger Federer's record for most grand slam match victories after powering past world No.2 Simona Halep to book her spot in a ninth Australian Open semi-final.
In their first meeting since Halep's demolition of Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final, the American great rediscovered her top-form to exact revenge on the Romanian and triumph 6-3 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.