Osaka pushes Halep to the edge, but lack of experience takes its toll

Wilson Blade 9

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Eighteen-year-old Naomi Osaka, Roland Garros debutante and the youngest player left in the draw, pushed Simona Halep very close to the tournament’s exit door during their third-round encounter, before allowing the Romanian’s experience to prevail.

Already in the third game of the match, the 101st-ranked Osaka confidently broke Halep’s serve and although the world number six won three straight games from that point on to go from 1-2 to 4-2, the Japanese youngster capitalized on her opponent’s insecure first and second serves and went on a roll to take the first set.

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In the six-minute first game of the second set, Osaka had a nice chance to continue the momentum, but a missed chance at the net gave Halep an opportunity to win the game and that missed chance must have shaken Osaka’s confidence, as Halep raced to a 3-0 lead. Even though Osaka did rebreak in the fifth game of the set, Halep continued to have the edge.

Similarly to the second set, in the decider Halep also established an early lead and Osaka’s mid-set revival wasn’t enough to send her into the fourth round, as Halep squeezed past the powerful debutante, 4-6 6-2 6-3.

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This was just the second Grand Slam appearance of Osaka and her second straight third round of a major. The 18-year-old born in Osaka managed to properly frustrate Halep today, often making her opponent struggle as if Serena Williams was at the other side of the net.

Moreover, I love how this spring Adidas kit launched at the Australian Open looks on Osaka, she’s my favorite player to wear it, especially this white version of the graphic print tank.


  1. Love how Osaka does the quick head bow to Halep and the chair umpire at the end of the match. A lot of the Thai women golfers, especially Ariya Jutanagarn do this at the end of their rounds.

    BTW, who wears the Adidas Y-3 dress better? Ana, Simona, or Angelique. On the mens side I think Thiem wears the Y-3 outfit better than Tsonga, Berdych, or Zverev.

  2. @Jim For me Ana and sasha. I also like it on simona but i wish those seperates didn’t have those straps. It kind of ruins the look for me.
    And while we are on the subject I honestly don’t understand the hate that this dress is getting. I like how Adidas this year has been about prints and love the colors they are mixing and experimenting together. I hope they continue with this or any other experimental trends they would like to pursue in future. If leopard print is acceptable so is zebra or hyena any other print ( I hope we get Giraffe print for US open 😛 ) Say no to animal racism 😀

  3. lol yeah but calling it zebra print is much more fun 😛
    Marija I have a suggestion you should make prediction article for every slam where we predict the semifinalists and finalists and winners after the draw is released. No prizes just for fun

  4. Sru, I agree, and it’s easier than the long wording “dazzle camouflage” 😛

    Such predictions are quite difficult to organize TBH, and other sites are doing them as well, so I try to make articles that cannot be found elsewhere.


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