STUTTGART: World number one Naomi Osaka battled back from 1-5 down in the final set to reach her first clay court semi-final with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) win over Donna Vekic in the WTA Stuttgart tournament on Friday.
The win saw the 21-year-old Japanese star making her first semi-final since winning the Australian Open in January, having suffered exits in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
“I just told myself I didn’t want to come away from here with any regrets,” Osaka said on courtside after her dramatic victory.
Osaka said she was “stressed out” and “making excuses” before she managed to turn the tables on Croatia’s Vekic.
Osaka will now face either Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit or former world number one and two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka in the semi-final on Saturday.
“This is my first semi-final on clay, so it feels pretty good,” she said. —AFP