The reigning US Open champion, Naomi Osaka stepped on the courts of Beijing. She played her quarterfinal match of the China Open against, Zhang Shuai. The Japanese, Osaka lost the first set and was trailing behind by 1-4 in the final set. Osaka was playing on the Diamond Court in Beijing with just a hope and a belief. She battled back against her Chinese opponent to stay in the tournament. She received 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory to reach the semifinals of the China Open. Additionally, Osaka becomes the first ever Japanese to accomplish a spot in the last four of the China Open.
“She’s such an incredible player. It was really hard to play against her here,” Osaka said on-court after the match. “I’m just thinking one match at a time, and it can only get harder from here. It’s one of those moments where you don’t feel your best, but you also — I mean, you have to play. Both of us were trying our best. It was just one of those things that I had to find a way how to push through.”
Zhang was optimistic about her second victory of the year over the Japanese Number one. She surpassed her on clay at the Mutua Madrid Open this season. Moreover, she commenced massively on her home-ground. Zhang held the opening set despite smacking two winners. Osaka committed to 66 unforced errors and slammed 51 to set up her next meeting with Anastasija Sevastova.
“I stopped thinking about winning or losing too much.” Osaka said “Even if there’s a small thing that I can do – or even to just put one more ball over, if it changes the outcome of the rally or the outcome of the match, then I’ll do it. I just try to stay as focused as I can, which I didn’t really do that well today, but it’s something that I’m working on.”