Naomi Osaka faced off against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the fourth round of the Australian Open 2021. Both players were evenly matched and that was evidenced in the way they played. Muguruza did her best to take out Osaka and even put her in the back foot at times. However, the Japanese was able to come back ant take the win.
The match was won by Naomi Osaka witha a score of 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Naomi Osaka’s tough fight against Muguruza
Hitting with pace and precision—a nearly unbeatable combination, considering how much velocity she can generate—Muguruza broke Osaka late in the first set, consolidated with the lead, and took an early break lead in the second.
It only managed to inspire Osaka to raise her own level. From 2-1 down, she won five of the next seven games, with her second break forcing a decider. Whether on serve or return, Osaka found her familiar groove.
Would both players find their best when it mattered most?
At times, yes. First, the pendulum swung back Muguruza’s way. She broke at 2-2, after an Osaka double fault (in that game, the normally stoic 23-year-old tossed her racquet to the ground), then consolidated.
The match appeared to be hers after she;
a) saved two break points at 3-4, hitting two aces and a running backhand winner to hold; b) earned two match points in the subsequent game.
But just then, the pendulum swung back to Osaka. She saved both match points, then broke when she had to for 5-5, mainly on the strength of booming backhands. In truth, though, all of her strokes were bombing the opposite baseline—and her level got to a point even Muguruza couldn’t reach. Osaka won 10 of the final 12 points, broke Muguruza at love, and stunningly turned around a classic fourth-rounder.
In the post match interview, When asked about the match Naomi Osaka said, “I feel like I was a bit intimidated because I knew she was playing really well coming into this match, For me, I feel like in the stressful points, I feel like I have to go within myself and I know that today I probably hit a lot of unforced errors that I think it was something I needed to do because I couldn’t really give her any shortfalls because she would finish it.”