Naomi Osaka ends last-eight wait in Qatar

By Sports Desk February 14, 2024

Naomi Osaka has reached the quarter-finals at a tournament for the first time in nearly two years.

The four-time grand slam champion was given free passage through to the last eight at the Qatar Open after opponent Lesia Tsurenko withdrew because of injury ahead of their scheduled contest.

Osaka returned to the tour in January following the birth of daughter Shai last summer and had won only one of her first four matches prior to heading to Doha.

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But the Japanese star has hit form in the Qatari capital, reversing her Australian Open loss to Caroline Garcia in the first round and then defeating Croat Petra Martic.

It is her best run since she reached the final of the Miami Open in April 2022, losing to Iga Swiatek.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova’s difficult start to the year continued with a 7-5 6-3 loss to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while Australian Open runner-up Zheng Qinwen was beaten 7-5 6-3 by Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.

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