Naomi Osaka said on Thursday that she was “angry relaxed” as the Japanese tennis player set up a cracking first meeting with US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in Beijing.
The 21-year-old, the reigning Australian Open and 2018 US Open champion, won the last 10 games against unseeded American Alison Riske to surge into the last eight at the China Open, 6-4, 6-0. The 19-year-old Canadian beat American qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-3 in the later match on Thursday.
Osaka has not dropped a set in three matches in the Chinese capital and also did not lose a set on the way to winning her home Pan Pacific Open last month.
It is in contrast to the stuttering form the world No 4 endured after winning the Australian Open at the start of the year.
“I’m relaxed, but I’m a little bit angry, it’s an angry relaxed,” said Osaka, asked what was behind her recent success in Japan and now China.
“I know after Australia I was like, ‘I’m going to have fun’. It was not fun, I did not have fun.”
The Japanese said she took a week off after her last 16 defeat at the US Open, where teenager Andreescu went on to triumph over Serena Williams in the final.
“I was sorting out my thoughts,” said Osaka, adding that she has “self-diagnosed ADHD” because “if I tell myself to relax, I play three-set matches.
“Out here, if you see, I’m kind of ‘angry’ right now, I can get through straight-set wins.”
Collated results from the WTA/ATP China Open tennis in Beijing on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Women - 3rd round:
Bianca Andreescu (CAN x5) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-1, 6-3
Naomi Osaka (JPN x4) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-4, 6-0
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-4, 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x16) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 7-5, 6-4
Men - 2nd round
Alexander Zverev (GER x2) bt Felix Auger Aliassime (CAN) 6-3, 6-1
John Isner (USA) bt Dan Evans (GBR) 7-6 (7/3), 7-5
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x3) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Sam Querrey (USA) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3
With AFP Inputs