Osaka into China Open quarters, Zhang upsets Kerber
BEIJING (AP) — Naomi Osaka maintained her strong form since winning the U.S. Open by reaching the China Open quarterfinals by crushing Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.
Osaka made a slow start, saving a break point and enduring five deuces in the eight-minute first game. But she broke Goerges' serve in the next game and raced to 5-0.
Osaka won four consecutive points on Goerges' serve to open the second set and rolled on.
When asked why she's risen into the top 10 this year, Osaka said: "I think my biggest improvement is mental.
"My game is more consistent, there are not so many unforced errors. I'm not sure how many I hit today, but sometimes last year I was hitting a lot."
In the quarterfinals, Osaka will play Zhang Shuai, who came back from a set down to defeat third-ranked Angelique Kerber 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.
This is Osaka's second tournament since she defeated Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Sept. 8. In the first last week, she got to the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo.
Also, 2010 champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-4 and qualified for the WTA Finals, where she will be the defending champ.
On the men's side, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini downed Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary beat Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-4, 6-2, and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-6(3), 6-4.