Naomi Osaka’s free passage

16 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Naomi Osaka’s free passage Naomi Osaka

The ManicaPost

 

NAOMI Osaka was given free passage through to the quarter-finals at the Qatar Total Energies Open after opponent Lesia Tsurenko withdrew because of injury ahead of their scheduled contest.

Osaka, who returned to the tour in January following the birth of daughter Shai last summer, is now through to the last eight at a tournament for the first time in nearly two years.

The four-time Grand Slam champion had won only one of her first four matches of the year prior to heading to Doha.

But the Japanese player has hit form in the Qatari capital, reversing her Australian Open loss to Caroline Garcia in the first round and then defeating Croat Petra Martic.

It is her best run since she reached the final of the Miami Open in April 2022, losing to IgaSwiatek.

In the quarter-finals, two-time WTA 1000 title winner Osaka will face Karolina Pliskova, who recorded her seventh victory in seven consecutive days — four in Europe and three in Asia — as she beat fellow Czech Linda Noskova 3-6 7-5 6-1.

Top seed IgaSwiatek booked her spot in the final eight with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over 14th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

She will now face the winner of Victoria Azarenka and eighth seed JelenaOstapenko in the quarter-finals.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova’s difficult start to the year continued with a 7-5 6-3 loss to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while Australian Open runner-up Zheng Qinwen was beaten 7-5 6-3 by former US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez.

The result was Fernandez’s sixth career top-10 win, and second in the past four months following her defeat of Vondrousova in last November’s Billie Jean King Cup semi-finals.

Fernandez will next face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina after she improved to 13-2 in 2024 with a sixth consecutive victory, beating Emma Navarro 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.

Rybakina has now made the quarter-finals of four of the five events she has entered at the start of a WTA season for the second time in her career after 2020.

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels. — Skysports.

 

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