Giant-killer Naomi Osaka sets up Simona Halep semi-final

Tennis News

Naomi Osaka claimed another big scalp at Indian Wells on Wednesday as she beat Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals.

The Japanese player secured her first win over a top-five player this year as she secured a 6-2, 6-3 victory over fifth seed Pliskova.

Osaka broke in the first game of the match and again in game five as she comfortably took the opening set, but both players struggled on serve in the second set as the first four games went against serve.

The 20-year-old claimed the decisive break in game seven, but then wrapped up her semi-final spot as she broke again in game nine.

Osaka, who also beat Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanksa in the earlier rounds, will take on top seed Simona Halep for a place in the final after the world No 1 saw off Petra Martic 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3.

Halep broke in the first game to take the opening set, but both players were broken once in the second set before Martic edged the tie-breaker.

The Romanian then claimed two late breaks in the decider to secure her ticket into the semis.

“It was difficult conditions to play in today because of the wind,” she said. “She had a tough game. I don’t know how I won, but I won.

“I just fought and that’s maybe why I won because I refuse to lose.”

In the other two quarter-finals, which takes place on Thursday, Angelique Kerber will face Daria Kasatkina while Venus Williams is up against Carla Suarez Navarro.

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