US Open: Naomi Osaka books quarter-final place after fine win over Anett Kontaveit
Japanese fourth seed faces American Shelby Rogers, who stunned sixth seed Petra Kvitova
Naomi Osaka stayed on course for her third Grand Slam title late on Sunday night after producing a polished performance to defeat Estonia's Anett Kontaveit in the US Open fourth round.
Osaka, the fourth seed, powered past her 14th seeded counterpart 6-3, 6-4 in the late match in an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows.
The 2018 US Open champion said keeping her emotions in check was key to dominating the one hour, 12-minute match having let frustration get the better of her in the previous round when she threw her racquet during a tie-break.
"For me it's very important because it's quite easy to get down on yourself, especially when you feel like you could have converted so many times," Osaka, 22, said.
"But I just told myself that she's a great player she's supposed to hold her serve so yeah just keep pushing."
Osaka said she hadn't watched live the incident with Novak Djokovic earlier in the day when he was disqualified for accidentally hitting a lines judge with his ball after losing a game.
She was sleeping ahead of her night match, but after becoming aware of it she said it served as a reminder to remain in control while on the court.
"That's definitely like a warning to never do that," Osaka said.
Kontaveit fought hard to hang in the contest, saving five match points before Osaka booked her place in the last eight.
Japan's Osaka will play 27-year-old American Shelby Rogers for a place in the semi-finals after the American upset sixth seed Petra Kvitova in three sets.
Osaka, of Haitian and Japanese heritage, walked onto the court wearing a facemask emblazoned with the name of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black youth shot and killed by a white neighborhood watch member in Florida in 2012.
Osaka, the 2019 Australian Open champion, is wearing different masks honoring victims of racial injustice and police brutality throughout the tournament.
She has already donned face coverings bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and Ahmaud Arbery.
Earlier on Day 7 in New York, Jennifer Brady extended her fine run of form to defeat 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4. The American will face Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva in the quarter-finals after the 23rd seed came through a battle with Croatian eighth seed Petra Martic 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
Published: September 7, 2020 10:35 AM