Cricket

Kids club? Naomi Osaka seeks inspiration from Tsitsipas, Tiafoe at Australian Open 2019

Australian Open 2019: US Open champion Naomi Osaka has said she wanted to do well in Melbourne after seeing the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe trouble the established names. 

20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the quarter-final after stunning defending champion Roger Federer on Sunday (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Naomi Osaka came back from behind to beat Anastasija Sevastova and reach the quarter-final
  • Osaka said she went ‘wow’ while watching Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Roger Federer on Sunday
  • Frances Tiafoe of the USA stunned Grigor Dimitrov to set up quarter-final clash vs Rafael Nadal

21-year-old US Open champion Naomi Osaka has said she is inspired from the performances of “kids” Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe in the ongoing Australian Open tournament in Melbourne.

Osaka reached her first-ever Australian Open final after surviving a stern test against 13th seed Anastasija Sevastova in the women’s singles fourth round match on Monday. The Japanese superstar came back from behind after being a set down to beat Sevastova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Osaka may not have been on top gear but she found ways to get the job done against Sevastova. Notably, she had to overcome a similar situation in her third-round match as she had stormed back after being a set down against Su-Wei Hsieh.

Revealing that she was inspired after seeing her mates from the “Kids Club” at Australian do well, Osaka said she was happy about the fact that she didn’t give up after conceding the first set against Sevastova.

“I think just the fact that I didn’t give up [is the thing I am most happy about]. She was playing really well… I wasn’t really sure what to do at one point but I just tried to be in the game,” Osaka said during an on-court interview on Monday.

“I was thinking… ‘I have been in this position before. Actually, the last time was a bit worse. Also, I have been watching all these kids… when Tsitsipas beat [Roger] Federer. I was like ‘wow’. I also decided I wanted to do well too.

“I was watching him [Tsitsipas] and Tiafoe, I thought they were playing really well. Just the fact that they came out here and won against top players… I also want to do that. That’s everyone’s dreams.”

Notably, Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas has been grabbing headlines after pulling off the biggest upset of the tournament – knockout defending champion Roger Federer in the Round of 16 with a four-set win.

Tsitsipas came up with a masterclass against the master at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. The victory helped him become the first player from Greece to reach the quarter-finals at a major.

“There’s nothing I can describe. I am the happiest man on earth right now, I can’t describe it,” Tsitsipas had said after the match.

Meanwhile, Frances Tiafoe ousted 20th seed Grigor Dimitrov in four sets and set up a quarter-final date with second-ranked Rafael Nadal.

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