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.”
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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.”
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