Victoria Azarenka makes Tokyo quarters; Naomi Osaka opponent revealed
Victoria Azarenka has powered into the Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals after beating Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-2, while Naomi Osaka also learned who her next opponent will be.
The Belarusian, a former world number one who has seen her ranking slip to 63 due to personal off-court issues, was far too much for the Australian and could face top seed Caroline Wozniacki next.
“That makes me feel a little old, but I’m happy to be here,” said Azarenka, 29, when informed she had reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.
“Obviously it’s been a while since I’ve played, I’m just trying to look day by day and see what happens. But I’m definitely enjoying my time on court these days.”
Australian cartoonist: “Watch me really antagonise @serenawilliams ”
Australian football players: “Hold our beers”
Serena Williams and Venus Williams at centre of fresh racism storm.https://t.co/B3CAxHP5H1
— Tennis365 (@T365Official) September 20, 2018
Barbora Strycova is also through – and she will face Naomi Osaka next.
The Czech overcame Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, and staged a sit-down protest at one line call, but she knows she’ll have to be much better to beat the new US Open champion.
“I know I will have to play very well to beat Naomi,” said Strycova.
“She’s a star – she’s just won a Grand Slam, which was such a huge success for her. Playing in Japan the support will be for her but I’ll try my best and see what happens.”
More from Tennis365:
Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon warm-up event, raising doubts about her SW19 entry
Naomi Osaka’s return date remains unknown.
French Open day nine: Novak Djokovic given a scare by Lorenzo Musetti, Coco Gauff winning off the court too
The story of the ninth day of action at Roland Garros.
Iga Swiatek on course to defend French Open title after beating Marta Kostyuk
Iga Swiatek the heavy favourite at Roland Garros.
Katie Boulter hoping to reach new levels after first-round win in Nottingham
The 24-year-old is making important steps on her road back from a serious back injury.
Novak Djokovic fights off nerves to avoid upset against teenager Lorenzo Musetti
Djokovic recovered from two sets down while Rafael Nadal was a straight-sets winner over 19-year-old Jannik Sinner.
Dan Evans back in a bubble and feeling upbeat after success on the Nottingham grass
British No 1 believes his decision to get back into a bubble was justified.
‘I felt more nervous when I was starting the match than when I was two sets down,’ admits Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic stormed back to reach French Open quarter-final.
Heartbreak for Francesca Jones at Viking Open, but youngster insists ‘I will be persistent’
Francesca Jones suffers from a congenital condition.
Alfie Hewett successfully defends his French Open wheelchair singles title
Alfie Hewett completed the double at Roland Garros.
Teenager Lorenzo Musetti threatens major shock before fading against Novak Djokovic at French Open
Musetti won the first two sets against Djokovic.