Around the Tour: US Open winners set for quarter finals clash

A TANTALISING quarter finals clash between US Open champions Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu awaits in ‘s-Hertogenbosch after the pair won their respective Round of 16 matches overnight. Osaka, who holds four Grand Slams – all on hard court – three more than Andreescu’s sole 2019 US Open title, will face the fellow wildcard on Friday for a spot in the semi-finals.

Osaka ended the run of Dutch wildcard Suzan Lamens in just 54 minutes on court, serving nine aces and only dropping two points off her first serve in a commanding 6-2 6-2 victory. She did not face a break point, and broke the Dutchwoman four times from five chances, winning 50 per cent of her return points to reach the last eight. Osaka also hit 21 winners to 13 unforced errors.

“Strangely, I think grass may be more physical than clay for me,” Osaka said post-match. “That’s in terms of, once you’re in the corner you have to have the strength to get out of the corner of the point is basically over with, and that’s where I fell very confident. Maybe that’s translating in my playing.”

Andreescu had a similar experience against China’s Yue Yuan, winning 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes on Centre Court. In the match, Andreescu was outstanding off her first and second serve with a 65 and 79 per cent success rate respectively, while breaking three times to one. The Canadian hit 22 winners to 19 unforced errors in the victory.

“Quarterfinals sounds really nice so I’m very happy,” Andreescu said post-match. “I don’t want to get too excited, not focusing too much on the good things or the bad things and attaching myself too much. I just want to take it as it is.”

Osaka said she was looking forward to facing Andreescu, with the current world number 125 winning her only former clash against the 228th ranked Canadian in a come-from-behind win at the 2019 China Open, 5-7 6-3 6-4.

“I remember and I know this for a fact, that she’s a great player,” Osaka said. “It feels really cool that we’re playing again this year. I know we’re both trying to come back and we’re almost kind of back, so this is really fun.

“I anticipate a really difficult match. She’s a player, to me, who’s really fun to play against because she can change anything in the match, like her play style or where she stands.”

In the other Round of 16 result, Belgian Greet Minnen overcame Croatian Donna Vekic in a topsy-turvy three-setter, 6-1 0-6 7-5. Meanwhile the Round of 32 was completed with German Jule Niemeier winning a thriller against Clara Tauson 6-4 6-7 6-4, while Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova advanced to the second round, as did American qualifier Robin Montgomery, who will all play tomorrow.


ATP 250 | s-Hertogenbosch

Three singles matches took place overnight, with local talent Tallon Griekspoor fighting past American Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets, 6-3 7-6. He was joined in the next stage by compatriot and qualifier Gijs Brouwer who stunned French veteran Adrian Mannarino, 6-3 6-3. In the all-French clash, Ugo Humbert got over Arthur Fils, 6-4 7-6.

WTA 250 | Nottingham

Aussie qualifier Kimberly Birrell stormed into the quarter finals with a commanding last set after an epic struggle, defeating fellow qualifier and Italian Lucrezia Stefanini in three sets, 6-4 6-7 6-0. Unfortunately her countrywoman Daria Saville could not join her, going down to France’s Diane Parry. It was a mixed bag for the home nation, with Brit Katie Boulter defeating Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino, while wildcard Heather Watson lost to former number one, Karolina Pliskova.

ATP 250 | Stuttgart

The first four Round of 16s were run and done, with British talent Jack Draper reaching the next stage with a three-set victory over American Marcos Giron. Her was joined in there by seeds Alexander Bublik and Frances Tiafoe who both won in straight sets, while Italian Lorenzo Musetti had a much bigger challenge up against local hope Dominik Koepfer, eventually winning 6-7 7-6 6-3.

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