Top-ranked Naomi Osaka survived yet another grueling test from the tricky Hsieh Su-wei in a matchup that has proven to be one of the more entertaining rivalries of 2019. Osaka eventually overpowered her much smaller opponent to win a three-set battle, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-2, in the third round of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday.
Scheduled on outside Court No. 10, Hsieh served for the first set at 5-4 but was unable to close in a break-filled first set. Osaka stepped up in the court, ripping returns and capitalizing on Hsieh’s lack of service pace.
In the second set, Hsieh used her defensive skills to frustrate the two-time major winner. She forced Osaka into hitting numerous errors, while also painting plenty of lines in the process.
Osaka responded early in the third, saving four break points in a pivotal game at 1-1. From there, Osaka carried the momentum and reeled off four of the next five games to win the match.
Three of their four encounters have gone three sets this season, with Osaka now owning a 3-1 head to head advantage. The No. 2 seed will face off in the quarterfinal against the winner of Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina.