Thursday’s Set Points: Osaka rallies past Sevastova to reach the semi-finals in Brisbane

Thursday was a quieter day of tennis with Shenzhen mostly rained off and Brisbane splitting their quarter-finals across two days. I’m still riding the tennis wave for the first week of the new season. I’ve barely watched anything live, but really enjoying catching up with matches on WTA TV. Read on for recaps of the two matches I watched in full, as well as highlights from the Hopman Cup. 

Anisimova reaches QFs of Auckland

Amanda Anisimova continues to impress as she produced a convincing 6-3 6-3 win over the number 5 seed, Barbora Strycova in Auckland. Anisimova’s quality is undeniable. She has such clean, powerful groundstrokes and really began to dictate proceedings against Strycova from 3-3 in the first set. It’s refreshing to see that she has variety to her game and that it’s not all about raw power. She seems to have a natural instinct to move up the court to finish points. To have these facets to her game at just 17 is special.

Anisimova will play Viktoria Kuzmova in the quarter-finals which should be an intriguing clash. Both players featured in my WTA predictions post for 2019. To repeat my feelings about Anisimova, she’s a future world number one and Slam champ IMO.

Osaka-Sevastova match review (Brisbane, QF)

Dominating on serve and handling Anastasija Sevastova’s slices and spins with increasing authority, Naomi Osaka produced a superb display to reach the Brisbane semi-finals. Osaka came from a set down to win for just the third time in the last year (via Tennis Abstract) to beat Sevastova, 3-6 6-0 6-4. I thought the third set was high quality tennis form both players and brilliant to watch. Sevastova threatened to erase out Osaka’s early break in the decider but the Japanese player slammed the door shut with big serving.

Sevastova is fast becoming one of my favourite players to watch. The game and talent is all there. I think the biggest concern in Sevastova’s game is her mentality. After winning the opener with a gorgeously deft drop shot, she then appeared to have a rather heated and negative chat with her coach. The body language was of a player who had just lost the set, not won it, 6-3! Sevastova seems to get rather anxious on court. I wish she could channel a bit more positivity at times but it’s easier said than done.

Great match and loved the clash in styles between the pair. Both players ended with a positive winner to unforced error differential (Sevastova 22-21 and Osaka 34-23).

Osaka’s QF press conference

I always enjoy watching Osaka’s press conferences and she was in good form again today. I feel she’s becoming a bit more confident in these situations and in post-match interviews. Always rooting for Naomi. She’s such a warm character and she genuinely makes me laugh and smile.

Kerber and Zverev visit Rottnest Island

I’ve really enjoyed all the off-court videos in Perth this year from the Hopman Cup. Loved to see Team Germany visiting Rottnest Island and see the quokkas! Angie’s selfie was adorable 😍 .

Hopman Cup latest

Team Switzerland advanced to the final of the Hopman Cup despite a loss to Team Greece, who have improved with each match. There were some fun moments in the mixed doubles! It was nice to see the joy and amazement from Team Greece after today’s win. It was interesting to hear Sakkari talking about wanting to play next year. I don’t think the tournament have ever officially addressed the rumours that it is set to end this year?

Friday night’s final round robin match between Australia and Germany will decide who Switzerland will play in Saturday’s final.

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6 thoughts on “Thursday’s Set Points: Osaka rallies past Sevastova to reach the semi-finals in Brisbane

  1. I’ve been watching Sakarri a lot the past year and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she reached the top ten at some point. Her forehand is just *gorgeous*. And physically she’s got to be one of the fittest players on the tour, so quick but so powerful.

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  2. Omg if Pliskova wins today then her and Tsurenko will meet in the final. And they are drawn to play together first round of Sydney!

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  3. No comments on 18 y/o qualie Bianca Andreescu who is tearing the tournament apart Auckland? Wins over Siegemund, Babos, Woz, V Williams, Hsieh and is now in the finals against Goerges.
    The final should be fun with both players hitting with big pace on their groundies.

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    • I haven’t watched much of Auckland to be honest! Was surprised to see Venus beaten though. Another young player to add to the watch out list.

      Sabylenka obviously didn’t get the memo about that backing up a breakthrough year should be tough… she’s inching closer to the top ten.

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    • She’s in that good place, and her positive attitude is paying off big time. Surely is a plus for Canadian women’s tennis with Genie struggling to find a consistent form. Time for them to embrace her and set her up for the future. I like her game, a fairly all round baseline game. She is mightily inspired by Halep( not a bad thing) being of Romanian heritage herself. Gorges isn’t in a bad form herself, if she isn’t consistent, Bianca can/will take advantage. It’s just in the way she is playing, making the best of her chances.

      🙂 I have no issues at all with Aryna Sabalenka. Someone has to take this tour by the scruff of the neck and she seems in the mood to do this. Of course, it’s early days yet, but she says she wants a place at the YEC. As long as she’s letting her game do the talking, I’m happy to go along for the ride.

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