Anastasija Sevastova is into the biggest final of her career, upsetting reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka in semifinal action today.
The No.20-ranked Latvian posted a 6-4 6-4 win over Osaka, hitting nine aces in the 91-minute match at the National Tennis Stadium.
It was Sevastova’s ninth career-win against a top 10-ranked opponent and fourth since August. She admits her confidence is high after reaching the quarterfinals or better at five of her past seven tournaments. This included a title-winning run in Bucharest and reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal at last month’s US Open.
“You just have more confidence after winning tournaments. You just start believing yourself more and play consistently,” the 28-year-old said.
Osaka was hampered by a back injury in the match, getting on-court treatment late in the second set. The world No.6 admitted it affected her play, leading to more unforced errors as she tried to shorten points.
“I couldn’t really hit that many backhands. I was just trying to go for whatever I can,” Osaka said.
“My back’s sort of been bothering me since the beginning of the tournament. I’m kind of happy I was able to get this far.”
Sevastova is aiming to win her fourth WTA singles title – and first at Premier level. She next plays the winner of Caroline Wozniacki and Wang Qiang, who play their semifinal this evening.
“I'm playing pretty well myself, so in the finals you always have a chance,” Sevastova said.
Sevastova is projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of No.12 by making the final – and would reach No.11 if she wins the title.
（By Nicholas Cimino）