US Open 2019: Belinda Bencic floors Naomi Osaka to set up quarterfinal clash with Donna Vekic
The two had met twice this season, with the Swiss winning both meetings. She got off to a great start, a double fault from the World No. 1 giving Bencic the early break to begin the match. The Swiss then struck a pair of winners to consolidate the break. Osaka fell into another hole in her next service game but saved three break points to get on the board.
She then drew some errors off the racquet of Bencic to draw level. The two then traded holds for the next few games as the set entered its business end.
It was Osaka's turn to produce a few costly errors and she conceded another break, allowing Bencic the opportunity to serve for the opening set. With Osaka on the ropes, Bencic opened up a 40-15 lead, converting her second set point. Despite serving four double faults, Bencic looked more comfortable in her service games.
The two players traded holds of serve to begin the second set before Bencic raced away to a 0-40 lead on the Osaka serve. A double fault by the defending champion then gave the Swiss the break.
Bencic consolidated with a hold but Osaka steadied the ship to stay in touch.
A few games later, Bencic found herself serving for the match at 5-4. She did not have to work too hard as Osaka committed three errors to hand the Swiss three match points. Bencic then sealed the win with a forehand smash, ending the match in 1 hour and 27 minutes.
“I was so excited to come onto the court,” Bencic said to Pam Shriver after the match. “The challenge couldn’t be bigger against Naomi. She’s a great player and obviously, she won it last year so I had to be at the top of my game. I'm really pleased with how I played and how I managed my nerves in the end.”
Bencic will face Donna Vekic in the quarterfinals.