Round 1. Day 1. Naomi Osaka

Sports Host Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018. Round-1. Day-1. Naomi Osaka

Sports Host. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 / Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
[Q] Naomi Osaka -51- (JPN) def Katerina Siniakova -49- (CZE) 64 60

Truth be told, this was a tight match. Sadly, it featured a crushing collapse from Katerina Siniakova while serving to stay in the first set. Down 4-5, on serve, she actually had the edge. She was the only one who’d seen break chances – two, in fact – and Osaka was hurting. Naomi called the trainer to the court for treatment during the changeover.

Rather than take advantage of the moment, Siniakova promptly handed Osaka the set in FOUR STRAIGHT SERVICE POINTS, including a double fault. It was shocking. Naomi was clearly in trouble, but Katerina’s focus simply vanished.

Osaka received more treatment during the set break, while Katerina’s confidence completely crumbled. Six games later, the match was over.

Qualifiers go 4-0 on Monday at the Qatar Total Open

Monday night’s 6th match on center court ended at 12:30am. With the victory, Naomi Osaka reinforced the reality that qualifiers who’d already spent time on court had the clear advantage on Doha’s new blue surface. Earlier in the day, qualifiers Cici Bellis, Anna Blinkova and Monica Niculescu all earned upset victories over Daria Kasatkina, Elena Vesnina and Maria Sharapova respectively.

Up Next: [13] Anastasija Sevastova -15- (LAT)

Naomi has played the determined Latvian just once, and won that match. Last Summer in Toronto, Osaka played through qualifying and defeated Sevastova in straight-sets to reach the Round of 16.

Naomi Osaka

Last month at the Australian Open, this 20-year-old aggressive ball-striker reached the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time, defeating two top-20, seeded players, Elena Vesnina and Ashleigh Barty. Last year, she earned her first two top-10 wins, upsetting World #6 Angelique Kerber at the US Open and World #5 Venus Williams in Hong Kong. She also made her Fed Cup debut, going undefeated in her Group I matches against the Philippines, India, China and Kazakhstan. 2-years-ago, she reached her first career Final at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, earned the distinction of 2016 Newcomer of the Year, and finished the season ranked inside the top-40 for the first time. Over the weekend, she quickly dispatched Lu Jing-Jing and Danka Kovinic to reach tonight’s main-draw match in her Qatar Total Open debut. From Japan – Please welcome, Naomi Osaka

Katerina Siniakova

Last month in Shenzhen, this 21-year-old reached the Final in both Singles and Doubles, defeating Maria Sharapova to reach the Singles Championship match. A year earlier, she won her maiden WTA title in Shenzhen, earning her first two career top-10 wins over World #4 Simona Halep and World #9 Johanna Konta. Then last July, she earned title #2, defeating World #6 Caroline Wozniacki to claim the trophy in Bastad. 2017 saw her reach career-high rankings in both Singles and Doubles; she made her Fed Cup debut, helping lift her country to the World Group Semifinals; and at the US Open, she reached her first Grand Slam Final with partner Lucie Hradecka. Competing in her second Qatar Total Open, from the Czech Republic – Please welcome, Katerina Siniakova