Naomi Osaka of Japan managed to overcome a disastrous first half of the match to defeat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 4-6 6-2 7-5 and move into the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open in New York.
After marching through the first set without facing a break point and going 2-0 up in the second set, the 12th-seeded Kontaveit lost nine games in a row, as Osaka forced the decider and opened it with a 3-0 lead.
The fourth-seeded Osaka maintained the one-break lead until 4-1, when Kontaveit responded with a winning series that leveled the third set. After a stretch of three holds, Kontaveit was serving to force a tiebreak, but Osaka finished things earlier, breaking her opponent who sent a down-the-line backhand wide on the second match point.
In the post-match interview, when asked how she managed to leave behind the first half of the match, Osaka said:
Honestly, I just started thinking about how bad my attitude was and the fact that, like, I chose to come here. We kinda had the option not to and it felt really messed up that I was having a really bad attitude when I chose to come here.
During the interview Osaka also talked about her boyfriend YBN Cordae, who turned 23 today.
Osaka’s semifinal opponent will be Belgian seed No.14 Elise Mertens who beat qualifier Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-3 earlier on Wednesday.