Japan’s Naomi Osaka makes a forehand return to Poland’s Magda Linette during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Japan’s Naomi Osaka makes a forehand return to Poland’s Magda Linette during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)| (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Tennis

Tennis: In Australian Open Women’s Quarterfinals,  we like Osaka

Other matches are too close to call. Save your money.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Australian Open
Quarterfinals - Women

Osaka over Svitolina
Reigning U.S. Open Champion Naomi Osaka has shown a new found quality in this 2019 Australian Open: The ability to compete. We already knew that Osaka could play. She showed that by overwhelming opponents last September in New York, in particular, Serena Williams in the Finals. But in the past two rounds here Down Under, Osaka lost the first set while playing with no focus and little confidence, and she managed to fight and out-compete her opponents in three sets. Adding the Champion’s ability to win when she’s not playing her best moves me to believe that she’ll figure out a way to overcome the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, the 6th seed. Svitolina found a way to overcome American Madison Keys, someone who hits a better ball off of both wings, to reach these quarterfinals. But this match should come down to who wants it more, and Osaka has now shown that she does. Svitolina will find consolation in having her disappointment softened by her new boyfriend, France’s Gael Monfils.

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