Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has progressed to the final of the Miami Open after overcoming a tough game of four sets to beat Swiss Belinda Bencic 4-6 6-3 6-4. This is the first final we would see Osaka play in since the 2021 Australian Open. Osaka has not played in a lot of tennis matches since taking a break in September last year.
Osaka entered Miami ranked 77th in the world, but her ranking is sure to improve at the end of this event. If she wins the final on Saturday, she might make it into the top 30. In recent times, she has struggled with a lot of things on and off court. Last year, she pulled out from the French Open after refusing to speak at the press conference, citing mental health reasons. She has been subjected to heckling by fans, especially most recently at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where she crashed out in the second round. This has to be her best performance in recent times, and it would boost her confidence going forward. She would now face the winner of Iga Swiatek vs. Jessica Pegula match.
On the men’s side, Russian Daniil Medvedev has lost his chance to reclaim the number one spot after losing 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 to Hurbert Hurkacz at the quarterfinal of the Miami Open. Medvedev struggled in the first set, trailing 5-2 in the first set. He was able to fight back, but that did not improve his chances as he still lost.
Medvedev had risen to the top of the men’s ranking, displacing Novak Djokovic, who has not participated in a lot of events this season due to his vaccination status. Medvedev’s reign as number one was quite short, and he has been fighting to attain it again. His recent loss would mean he would have to wait for another event to try again, but it might not be so easy. Djokovic might play in upcoming events if they hold in countries that do not demand proof of vaccination for entry.
Written by: Leon Osamor