Naomi Osaka has sounded her Australian Open title intentions loud and clear, saving two match points in an impressive fourth-round comeback over former No.1 Garbine Muguruza on Sunday.
Trailing by a set and a break in the second, Osaka managed to won the second set. She went down a break in the third set and was staring down the defeat with match points at 4-5, the No.3 seed however shifted up a gear to conjure up a 4-6 6-4 7-5 victory.
“I feel like today I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never played her before, but I just knew it was going to be tough,” Osaka said.
“I feel like I was a bit intimidated because I knew that she was playing really well coming into this match. For me I feel like in the stressful points I just had to go within myself.
Next up for Osaka is an all-Asian quarter-final against 35-year-old Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan, who stunned 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova from Czech 6-4, 6-2 and will be playing in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Hsieh, the current doubles world number one and ranked 71 in singles, got a early break in the opening set and never looked troubled in outwitting Marketa Vondrousova, a player she also toppled in an Abu Dhabi warm-up event in January.
Taiwan veteran Hsieh Su-wei said believing she was “still young” helped her sweep into a first Grand Slam quarter-final after 16 years of trying.
She made her Grand Slam debut in 2005 but had never gone beyond the fourth round before in 37 previous attempts.
Hsieh became the oldest first-time quarterfinalist at a major, following her 71-minute triumph over the 2019 French Open runner-up.
It comes in her 38th Grand Slam main draw appearance.