Naomi Osaka and Kiki Bertens headline strong Italian Open quarter-final line-up
Naomi Osaka will lead a strong field in the women’s quarter finals of the Italian Open after she beat both Dominika Cibulkova and Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.
The world number one was tested in unfamiliar circumstances, but came through with flying colours.
“It’s a bit unusual for me because I’ve never played two rounds in one day,” said Osaka.
“I think this is the first time. So that was very different.Yeah, it turned out fine for me in the end,.
“I think just to get a straight-set win over both of them. Cibulkova I played in Madrid. It was really close, the second set.
“I was keeping that in mind when I was playing against her today.
“Then Michaela, I played her on grass. I expected a different match. That’s sort of what I got.”
Osaka is joined in the last eight by Victoria Azrenka and Kiki Bertens.
Bertens downed both Amanda Anisimova and Carla Suarez Navarro, and she will now face Osaka for a spot in the semis.
Azarenka, meanwhile, beat an injured Garbine Muguruza and will now meet Karolina Pliskova, who beat Sofia Kenin.
It was also a good day for British number one Johanna Konta, who downed both Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams in the same day to make the quarters.
“I knew I had a tough match against Sloane,” said Konta.
“I just went into that match really trying to do the best that I can. I was pleased with how I was competing.
“To come through that match, come back again this afternoon, I was looking forward to playing Venus again.
“I always enjoy being on court with her. Just pleased to have come through that match as well, two tough opponents.”
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