Naomi Osaka brought an end to the winning streak Bianca Andreescu was enjoying on Friday after gaining an advantage over the Canadian and U.S Open champion at the China Open quarterfinals.
Andreescu, who had won her previous 17 matches lost to Osaka 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The loss could have an impact on her expected jump in the world rankings and most likely could improve Osaka’s, who currently is ranked 4th in the world.
After her win at the U.S. Open, Andreescu’s rank is expected to jump to 4th, which if it does will be a first for a Canadian women, but it may drop to 5th or even 6th depending on how the semifinals and finals play out. If Naomi Osaka is successful in the semifinals, Andreescu will not improve beyond 5th, however, if she loses, then Andreescu’s rank will not change.
Japan’s Osaka and Andreescu are both ranked as the two of the sports best players, and the China Open was the first time the two found themselves facing each other. After Osaka scored the final point, and her seventh ace, the first of many anticipated matches went to Osaka.
Both Andreescu and Osaka have been having solid performances this year, and the results speak volumes. Osaka has ranked up two big wins, the first being the Australian Open and the other the Toray Pan Pacific Open while Andreescu won the Rogers Cup and two weeks later, the U.S. Open.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki was successful in her quarterfinal match and Daria Kasatkina and will face off on Saturday in the semifinals against Osaka, while Ash Barty will face Kiki Bertens. As this is a mandatory stop on the tour, punters hoping to place wagers on the semifinals and following final have some excellent promotional opportunities with Sports Interaction, whose current posted odds favouring Naomi Osaka (1.33) to win over Wozniacki (3.18).
Barty, who lost the first set, was able to overcome and win the second and third to earn her place in the semifinals. The Australian native was able to overcome six break points, four more than Kvitova. Commenting post-match on her quarterfinal against Petra Kvitova said,
“From my opinion, that was one of the highest quality matches I played all year. Petra always has a way of bringing out the best in me, she really does.”
Bertens, who earned her place in the semifinals with her 7-6, 6-2 win over Elina Svitolina stated she felt she player some better tennis once again adding,
“I think then with some pressure and playing better all the time, it’s good for me. It says for myself that I was growing a lot over the last few years.”
In men’s tennis, former No.1 Andy Murray was eliminated by Dominic Thiem on Friday in two sets. Thiem managed to break Murray in the opening game of the first set, and it seemed Murray was unable to find his grove against the higher ranked Thiem, who will meet Karen Khachanov in the semifinals on Saturday while Stefanos Tsitipas will face off against Alexander Zverev in the other men’s semifinal.