Indian Wells | Osaka taking centre stage
Japan’s 20-year old tennis sensation Naomi Osaka will play the feature match on Wednesday evening in Indian Wells against fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
Naomi, who actually comes from the City of Osaka, had to overcome a bad patch in the middle of her match with Greece’s Maria Sakkari before progressing through to the quarter finals.
After losing the first set 6-1, Sakkari began putting more air under the ball and immediately found success. Osaka lost her timing completely, at one point slamming her racket to the ground in frustration. Sakkari took the second set 7-5; the first set the Japanese youngster had lost in the tournament following straight sets victories over Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sachia Vickery.
The third set saw Osaka back in complete control as she closed out the win by 6-1 5-7 6-1, and took another valuable step in her top-level tennis education. Karolina Pliskova will need to be at her very best on Wednesday evening to halt the Japanese juggernaut.