The brute force of Naomi Osaka crushed the artistry of Hsieh Su-wei as the Japanese former champion charged into the Australian Open semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-2 win on Tuesday (Feb 16).
On a warm and muggy day at Rod Laver Arena, third seed Osaka attacked Hsieh’s weak serve with gusto and the Taiwanese giantkiller quickly wilted under the pressure of her Grand Slam quarter-final debut.
Osaka had a torrid time in her last Australian Open clash with Hsieh in 2019, having to come back from a set and a break down on the way to claiming the championship.
So the Japanese third seed was thrilled with her form against the Taiwanese maverick in a 66-minute clinic.
“Yeah, definitely really happy,” 23-year-old Osaka said on court. “Really happy with how I played today. Every time I play her it’s a real battle and, despite the score, this was again a real battle today.”
Osaka scrambled superbly to chase down the improbable angles conjured by her opponent’s double-handed, double-sided game, and she raced through the final set, sealing the win on the third match point when an overwhelmed Hsieh pushed a defensive shot long.
Osaka, the 2019 champion, will meet the winner of the Serena Williams versus Simona Halep clash for a place in the final, the pair having a rematch of the 2019 Wimbledon final in the evening session at Rod Laver Arena.
“I always watch Serena’s matches, anyway,” said Osaka, who has never failed to win a Grand Slam after making the quarter-finals. “Definitely going to be real fun.”