China Open: Osaka v Andreescu in blockbuster quarterfinal

Published by Matt Trollope

Naomi Osaka (L) and Bianca Andreescu won their third-round matches on Thursday at the China Open to set up a blockbuster quarterfinal (Getty Images)
Reigning Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu will clash for the first time when they meet in the China Open quarterfinals on Friday in Beijing.

Bianca Andreescu’s straight-sets win over Jennifer Brady on Thursday night at the China Open has set up a blockbuster quarterfinal against Naomi Osaka.

Osaka earlier on Wednesday won 10 straight games from 4-2 down in the first set to dismiss in-form American Alison Riske.

Andreescu-Osaka represents a battle of the past two US Open champions, with Osaka also the reigning Australian Open winner.

Both beat Serena Williams to claim their maiden major titles at Flushing Meadows, and both are two of the most exciting young talents in the women’s game.

Yet this will be their first professional meeting.

“I’m feeling more excited than usual. I wanted to play her ever since she did so well at the US Open and Australian Open. I’m really happy that I get to play her tomorrow because I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Andreescu, who like Osaka dropped just four games in beating Brady 6-1 6-3.

“I really admired her, I still do. She’s doing incredible, especially at such a young age, as well. It’s nice to play another player that’s close to my age. We’re kind of like the NextGen.

“I’m really excited. I know it’s not going to be easy at all. I think it’s going to be fun. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it.”

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Osaka was reluctant to talk about the impending match-up given Andreescu was yet to play — and win — her match against Brady.

Yet the Japanese star was well aware of what the Canadian teenager would bring to the court for their match on Friday night in Beijing.

“I did not watch the US Open after I lost. Sorry (smiling). I knew that she won, though. But I was watching her play Toronto when I was there. It’s pretty obvious, but she seems to be — well, she is an amazing player,” Osaka said.

“I feel like she’s doing better than I was last year, so it’s all cool. I have to learn from her, too.

“I noticed that she seems to be very, like, just focused. She plays a lot of three sets. Is it just me? I think someone that plays a lot of three sets, it shows that they … can just keep building off.”

Also progressing to the quarterfinals on Thursday was defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, who saw off Katerina Siniakova 6-4 7-5.

She will meet the resurgent Daria Kasatkina after the former world No.10 beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 6-3.

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