Fixture: (3) Naomi Osaka vs Hsieh Su-wei
Date: 16 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80 million
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Naomi Osaka vs Hsieh Su-wei preview
Naomi Osaka managed to keep her winning streak alive at the 2021 Australian Open, narrowly escaping an upset at the hands of last year's finalist Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.
The Japanese youngster even survived a match point against her fellow former World No. 1. She has now been rewarded with a quarterfinal against Hsieh Su-wei, who took out Marketa Vondrousova in her fourth-round match.
For Hsieh, this marks the first occasion that she has progressed through to the last eight at a Major. In doing so, she has also become the oldest player ever to make her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.
But the 35-year-old's run shouldn't come as a surprise given her results over the last couple of years. She hadn't won a match against top 10 opposition until 2017, but now has as many as seven wins over the exclusive club.
Hsieh's crafty tennis has been on display all week. She has only looked stronger with every passing match, and Osaka will certainly be wary of the threat.
Naomi Osaka vs Hsieh Su-wei head-to-head
Naomi Osaka leads Hsieh Su-wei in the head-to-head by a 4-1 margin. That said, most of the youngster's wins over her senior opponent have come in tough three-set battles.
Naomi Osaka vs Hsieh Su-wei prediction
Naomi Osaka enters this contest as the overwhelming favorite on paper. The third seed has been in fine form, and up until her last match against Muguruza she looked nearly invincible on serve.
Hsieh Su-wei has faced a few good servers during her time on the court, but Osaka - if she finds her stride behind the first delivery early - could prove to be a different proposition altogether. The Taiwanese is a master at redirecting pace, and she'll have to be at her best to make as many first-serve returns as she can.
Osaka has been slightly vulnerable when made to come into the net. Hsieh will therefore look to use her slices and drop shots to keep the Japanese from settling into a rhythm on the baseline.
The surprise element in Hsieh's game works to her advantage in most of her matches, but Osaka has played her enough to get a sense of what she can bring to the table. The 23-year-old will be better prepared to face Hsieh than she would have been a couple of years ago, and that could make all the difference in this close matchup.
Prediction: Naomi Osaka to win in three sets.