Published: Wed, February 03, 2021
Sport | By

Naomi Osaka reaches quarterfinals of Australian Open warm-up event

Naomi Osaka reaches quarterfinals of Australian Open warm-up event

Naomi Osaka, Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin each advanced, earning themselves the privilege of playing at least one more competitive match before next week's Australian Open begins.

"This is one of my favorite places to play in the entire world, and for me to be able to come back after 11 or 12 months off now - it's been a while, but I miss this feeling, I miss coming out here and competing", Barty said on court after her victory.

But Boulter eventually fell to 3-6 6-3 6-1 defeat as the two-time Grand Slam champion found her stride.

Boulter's win put her up against 3-time Grand Slam victor Naomi Osaka who blew past Alize Cornet in her 2021 debut.

"Perhaps lost concentration because she won the first set so easily".

It was an impressive performance from Osaka, who had few problems against Cornet in her first encounter with the French veteran.

Boulter, appearing physically strong and unleashing ferocious groundstrokes, has impressed in Melbourne and knocked out teenage sensation Coco Gauff Tuesday with a comeback three-set victory.

It was a short stay on Margaret Court Arena with the 76th-ranked Giorgi retiring because of a thigh injury after Kenin clinched a tight first set 7-5.

"But two wins from two matches after not playing for a year is a great effort".

He opted not to travel for the U.S. or French Opens, but said at the weekend he was mentally refreshed and excited to be back.

The second-seeded Osaka, who won the Australian Open in 2019, raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set but the 24-year-old Briton would not fold and had break points to put the stanza back on serve. "I think because I haven't played a match since the finals in NY, I was definitely really nervous going into it".

"I think the me from last year is very different from the me this year", she said.

"I just somehow pulled it out of a hat, which seems to be the story of my career, so just happy to get through".

The last three women's singles Grand Slam champions all took care of their business on Tuesday in Melbourne.

Bianca Andreescu was due to gear up for the Australian Open by contesting the Grampians Trophy this week but withdrew from the competition to focus on training instead.

She next meets world number 14 Johanna Konta or Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania as she ramps up preparations for the Australian Open starting Monday.

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