Naomi Osaka seals Asia swing double with thrilling China Open victory over Ashleigh Barty


Naomi Osaka has added the China Open to the Pan Pacific Open title she won last month after beating Ashleigh Barty 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Osaka ended Bianca Andreescu’s 17-match winning streak in the quarter-finals on Friday.

And the fourth seed set up a mouth-watering final with Barty after beating Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals.

The Japanese star double-faulted three times at 3-2 in the first set and it proved costly as Barty took advantage to break and take the opening set 6-3.

At the changeover, Osaka received a pep talk from her father and coach Leonard Francois, who said: “I trust you. You’re doing great.”

And it clearly made a big impact to Osaka as she broke Barty to lead 4-2 in the second set and force a decider by winning the set 6-3.

Before the third set, it was Barty’s turn to receive some advice from her coach but Osaka kept her momentum to break in the opening game.

Osaka then broke again to lead 5-2 and she held serve to complete the three-set win.

Osaka said after the match: “Basically I was telling myself to keep fighting even though my attitude was really trash.

“This is a final, I’m really privileged to be here in the first place, so keep fighting.”

After being told she had been calm throughout the week, Osaka replied: “I feel like I wasn’t that calm here. I threw my racquet, like, once every match.

“I really wanted to win here. I felt like I had something to prove.”

On BT Sport, former British No 1 Anne Keothavong said: “What a final that was.

“They both really delivered. Great quality tennis from both women today.

“Naomi Osaka showing incredible patience.”


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