MELBOURNE, Australia — So great for so long recently, Naomi Osaka was only 1 point at the end of her long winning series, 1 point from departing the Australian Open with a reduction to Garbine Muguruza.
Bleak as things appeared for her overdue at a big-hitting matchup of Grand Slam winners and former No. 1-ranked ladies, Osaka never wavered, erasing two game points and grabbing the previous four matches to border Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in Rod Laver Arena at the fourth round Sunday.
The third-seeded Osaka returns into the quarterfinals of a tournament she won in 2019 for among the three big trophies. Osaka ran her winning streak to 18 games — a streak that included a US Open title in September — and also put a halt to Muguruza’s own fine kind of late.
Going into Sunday — the next day of this championship with no audiences due to a neighborhood COVID-19 lockdown — two-time significant winner Muguruza was broken only once in this Australian Open. She’d fallen a total of 10 games through three games.
However, Osaka struck her five times and won 17 games whatsoever in a competition featuring entertaining quiz back-and-forth play and fantastic functioning by equally on a cloudy day with the temperatures at the mid-60s.
“I was a little intimidated, since I understood she had been playing very well coming into this game,” Osaka explained. “From the trying points, I really feel as though that I simply had to go inside myself. And now I understand that now I probably hit lots of unforced errors, but I really feel as it was exactly what I had to do, since I could not actually give her short balls since she’d complete it.”
Muguruza couldn’t convert either of the match points: Osaka delivered one of her 11 masters at 118 miles on the very first; Muguruza missed a groundstroke about the next.
Fifteen minutes later, the game will be finished.
Muguruza functioned for the win at another game and got busted when Osaka smacked a cross-court forehand winner to shut a 14-stroke exchange. After holding to go up 6-5, Osaka broke Muguruza once again to win their initial head-to-head meeting.
Osaka, a 23-year-old who had been born in Japan and moved into the U.S. together with her family when she was 3, currently faces unseeded 35-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan using a semifinal berth at stake.
“I am not actually anticipating it,” Osaka explained. “She is going to be very tough.”
This can be Hsieh’s 38th main-draw look at a Grand Slam tournament.
Hsieh plays an unusual style which includes off putting shots off either side, and that could have uttered the 19th-seeded Vondrousova, who left 31 unforced errors, 13 over the winner.
Hsieh conquer 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu at the next round.