CINCINNATI – World number one Naomi Osaka survived a tough test against Hsieh Su-Wei and eked out a 7-6 (3) 5-7 6-2 victory to reach her first ever quarter-final at the Cincinnati Masters on Thursday.
Osaka, who lost to Hsieh at the Miami Open in March, admitted a day earlier that the Taiwanese challenger was an unpredictable opponent for her.
But she was ready this time around, firing 15 aces and breaking Hsieh five times.
“I thought I did pretty well,” Osaka told reporters afterwards. “I feel like I knew going into the match that she was going to play really well. Like, we have such long matches every time we play, so I wasn't expecting anything different this time around.”
In the decisive third set, Osaka faced four break points on her opening service but fought them all off. She then seized four straight games to take firm control.
Osaka now gets a matchup with 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin who took down seventh-seed Elina Svitolina 6-3 7-6 (3).
Earlier in the day, top seed Ash Barty overcame 49 unforced errors and a stiff challenge from Anett Kontaveit to reach the quarter-finals with a 4-6 7-5 7-5 win of the Cincinnati Masters on Thursday.