Sports

Osaka through to Brisbane semis

Osaka through to Brisbane semis
Naomi Osaka listens to advice from coach Sascha Bajin during her Brisbane International quarter-final victory over Anastasija Sevastova.
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/3/2019 10:23:36 AM IST

 Brisbane, Jan 3 (Agencies): US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan has overcome a first set stumble to become the first woman into the Brisbane International semifinals.

The world No.5 overcame eighth-seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 3-6 6-0 6-4 in 90 minutes.

World No.11 Sevastova won both her clashes with Osaka in 2018, and the 28-year-old looked like making it three straight when she jumped to a 2-0 lead before claiming the first set in 33 minutes.

A shocked Osaka, 21, received some comforting words from coach Sascha Bajin before coming out swinging.

Osaka turned the match on its ear, claiming the second set in just 20 minutes and cruising to a 3-1 lead in the third before Sevastova responded, but in the end Osaka’s power game proved too much for 2018 US Open semi-finalist Sevastova.

“I was just trying to stay calm, trying to tell myself that she is one of the best players in the world so I just have to stay in there and hopefully get a chance,” Osaka said of her post first set chat.

“I think I did that and and so I tried to roll with it.” Osaka will hope to continue her stunning rise at Brisbane.

Her ranking jumped from world No.68 to five in 2018 thanks mainly to her Flushing Meadows triumph marred by Serena Williams’ fiery clash with the chair umpire.

Osaka became the first Japanese player to claim a grand slam.

And more history is in her sights at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

She can become the first Japanese player to reach No.3 in the rankings if she claims the Brisbane title.

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