BEIJING – Naomi Osaka said she was “angry relaxed” after winning the last 10 games against unseeded American Alison Riske to surge into the last eight at the China Open, 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday.
Osaka and U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, two young stars of women’s tennis, will meet if the 19-year-old Canadian wins her match later Thursday against American qualifier Jennifer Brady.
Osaka has not dropped a set in three matches in the Chinese capital and also did not lose a set on her way to winning the Pan Pacific Open last month in Osaka.
It’s a complete turnaround from the stuttering form the world No. 4 displayed after winning the Australian Open at the start of the year.
“I’m relaxed, but I’m a little bit angry, it’s an angry relaxed,” Osaka said when asked what was behind her recent success in Japan and now China.
“I know after Australia I was like, ‘I’m going to have fun’. It was not fun, I did not have fun.”
Osaka said she took a week off after her defeat at the U.S. Open, where Andreescu went on to triumph over Serena Williams in the final.
“I was sorting out my thoughts,” said Osaka, adding that she has “self-diagnosed ADHD” because “if I tell myself to relax, I play three-set matches.
“Out here, if you see, I’m kind of ‘angry’ right now, I can get through straight-set wins.”