Osaka Moves Into Qatar Open Quarterfinals After Opponent Withdraws Last-Minute

Osaka Moves Into Qatar Open Quarterfinals After Opponent Withdraws Last-Minute

by Erik Virostko

Naomi Osaka moved into the 2024 Qatar Open quarterfinals, and she needed only two victories to do that.

Early on her comeback, the Japanese player didn't have a lot of luck with draws, as she first took on former world no. 1 Karolina Pliskova, already in the second round in Brisbane, then former world no. 4 Caroline Garcia in the first round of the Australian Open, before playing against former Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins in Abu Dhabi.

However, it seems that Osaka is starting to get lucky at the WTA 1000 tournament in Doha. Although she drew Garcia in the first round again, she beat the French player this time around, and in the second round, the four-time major winner had no problems against Petra Martic.

It was the first time that Osaka won two consecutive matches in 23 months, and in the third round of the tournament, she was set to take on Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian has been in very good form, beating Ons Jabeur in the previous round. However, she couldn't challenge the Japanese player because of an injury that kept her out of play.

Lesia Tsurenko withdrew from the 2024 Qatar Open because of an elbow inflammation, giving Osaka a walkover into the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Although at an expense of an injured opponent, it's a bit of luck that Osaka needed on her side, as she needs points to enter tournaments directly, rather than rely on wild cards and protected rankings, as she also wants to become seeded and avoid the brutal draws in the future.

A quarterfinal run at the WTA 1000 tournament may certainly help with that, as she is now sure to enter the Top 300 again, after starting the tournament as the world no. 747.

In the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open, Osaka will await the winner of the match between Karolina Pliskova and Linda Noskova.


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