WTA wrap: Osaka beats Venus, Sharapova wins

Published by Matt Trollope

Naomi Osaka beat Venus Williams for the first time to reach the WTA Hong Kong quarterfinals; Getty Images
At this week’s three WTA events across the globe, Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova and Belinda Bencic were the notable winners on Wednesday.

Naomi Osaka has surged into the quarterfinals of the WTA Hong Kong Open with a masterful display against Venus Williams.

The 19-year-old, almost two decades younger than Williams, beat the second seed 7-5 6-2 on Wednesday.

Osaka lost to the American in a tight two-setter in the third round at Wimbledon this year, but turned the tables to set up a last-eight clash against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

RELATED: Venus to make long-awaited return to Sydney

The sixth-seeded Russian accounted for American qualifier Jacqueline Cako in straight sets.

“I feel like even if I hit one semi-short ball she would come in and crush it, so I had to play really well,” said Osaka, whose win over the world No.5 was the biggest of her career.

Osaka, ranked 64th, also beat then-No.6 Angelique Kerber in the first round of the US Open.

In another upset result, Sam Stosur won nine straight games in a 3-6 6-4 6-0 win to banish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska from the tournament.

Tianjin: Sharapova advances

Wildcard Maria Sharapova booked her place in the second round of the Tianjin Open in China with a 6-4 6-2 win over ninth seed Irina-Camelia Begu.

Sharapova had been slated to face top seed Caroline Garcia, before the Frenchwoman withdrew from the tournament due to injury.

RELATED: Roger, Rafa begin with wins in Shanghai

“It’s always nice to visit a new place and play in a new stadium,” Sharapova said. “I enjoy the intimacy, I think it’s a nice change. As a professional tennis player, you play most of the time playing in big arenas, and these smaller venues are very intimate and it’s a really good feeling.”

The victory sets up a second round meeting with Magda Linette after the Pole overcame Kateryna Bondarenko in three sets.

On the same day, No.2 seed Petra Kvitova was stunned by local player Zhu Lin, losing 6-4 5-7 6-4 after coughing up eight double faults.

“Obviously it is an amazing match and it is the biggest win of my career, I am just so happy,” Zhu said.

Meanwhile, Sara Errani returned to the tour following a two-month doping ban and scored her first main-draw win, beating Kateryna Kozlova 6-2 6-1.

Linz: Bencic wins again

Swiss Belinda Bencic continued her stellar comeback from a wrist injury by sealing a place in the LInz quarterfinals.

Bencic, playing her first WTA event since April due to left-wrist surgery, beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-3 2-6 6-3 on Wednesday at the indoor event in Austria.

The win sets up a clash in the last eight with Romanian qualifier Mihaela Buzarnescu, who saved a match point to beat Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 7-6(1) 6-1.

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