Top Seed at the Toray Pan Pacific Open Naomi Osaka kept the home fans happy and cheering for her as she reached the Semi-finals of her home tournament after taking out Yulia Putintseva in straight sets. Not having a won a set in their previous three meetings, including a Wimbledon First Round shock earlier this year, Osaka came out all guns blazing, smacking 29 winners and 6 aces to win 6-4, 6-4.
This is Osaka’s second Semi-final of the season after her stint at the Australian Open. “For me, I learned a lot from when I played her at Wimbledon, and I know that a hardcourt is where I feel most comfortable,” Osaka told press afterward.
“And also, I’m playing in Japan, so I thought I had the advantage this time around”. There were some concerns during the match for Osaka, who won the match in an hour and 46 minutes. “I was really worried for her because ankle injures are pretty serious sometimes,” said Osaka, who was one of the first to reach Putintseva and offer her support.
“So I didn’t want it to end her Asian season, I guess. I kind of just ran there”. She next takes on Elise Mertens, who comes into this tournament as the No.9 seed and enters this clash after taking out Camila Giorgi in the quarters. Mertens is gunning to reach the final of this tournament for a third time. They both play later in the day.