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Australian Open: Naomi Osaka reaches quarter-final berth after hard-fought win against Garbine Muguruza
- Updated: February 14, 2021
Naomi Osaka battled back from the brink to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Garbine Muguruza on Sunday.
Naomi Osaka saved two match points and came back to beat Garbine Muguruza in a big-hitting fourth-round matchup of Grand Slam champions at the Australian Open.
The third-seeded Osaka grabbed the last four games to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in Rod Laver Arena. That result puts her back in the quarterfinals of a tournament she won in 2019 for one of her three major trophies.
Osaka saved them both and the tide turned as Muguruza crumbled under pressure, leaving the 2019 champion to coast to victory and a quarter-final date with Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.
Osaka was serving at 15-40 while trailing 5-3 in the final set. But Muguruza could not convert either of those match points and wouldn’t win another game.
“I’m tired right now, that was tough,” said Osaka, who mixed 40 winners with 36 unforced errors over the contest.
“Today I feel like I was intimidated, she is playing well. I had to go within myself, I couldn’t play short balls to her because she’d put them away.”
Next up for Osaka is an all-Asian quarter-final against unorthodox 35-year-old Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan, who will be playing in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time.
“I’m not looking forward to it, every time we have played it’s three sets,” Osaka added. “It’s fun when I’m not really angry. When I play her I just have to expect everything.”