NEW YORK, NY, USA - BNP Paribas Open champion Naomi Osaka will make a long-awaited debut in the US Open second week after a comprehensive 6-0, 6-0 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, while Lesia Tsurenko backed up her upset of No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki with a 6-4, 6-0 victory against Katerina Siniakova, both on Grandstand court.
"I just remember she hit three really good shots, I think, in the first game to get up 40-0 on my serve. From that moment, I was just thinking that I'm going to try to make as many shots as possible. I ended up winning that game. For some reason, my momentum kept going."
No.20 seed Osaka twice lost heart-breaking third round clashes in her last two US Open appearances, but had no such problems on Saturday, needing just 50 minutes to defeat the Belarusian, herself in the midst of a career-best run in Flushing Meadows.
"If I would go up 3-0 in the past, then I would create this drama where I relax a lot, and then I let the person come back into the match. Now that I'm able to beat people at easier scores like this, I think I have improved a lot. I wasn't necessarily thinking of the score when I was playing today. I was just thinking about the stuff that I had to do to keep winning."
Earlier in the day, Tsurenko was similarly emphatic over Siniakova, rallying from 4-1 down in the opening set to win the final 11 games after 65 minutes on court.
"It's always dangerous, and there are many times where you can beat someone highly ranked and then lose to someone who, well, isn't," Tsurenko said. "For me, the result against Caroline was good for one day. The next day, I stopped thinking about it so I could concentrate on my next match, the recovery, and rebuilding my mind set."
Osaka will next play the winner of a highly-anticipated encounter between No.5 seed Petra Kvitova and Connecticut Open champion Aryna Sabalenka.
"I have never played either of them, but I feel like I have watched them play," Osaka said. "I feel like I would know Kvitova's game more, because I watched her growing up a little bit. Yeah, I don't know who's going to win, so I guess I'm just going to watch that match and not worry too much, I guess."
Tsurenko will take on Marketa Vondrousova - conqueror of Western & Southern Open winner Kiki Bertens - for her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
"She's so talented," Tsurenko said. "I think her arms are amazing. She can do many things on court, and she's had a few good wins here. I watched her match against Bertens today. It was a really good match; I watched the first set and she was fighting hard for every point. We will both have some confidence going into this match, but I'll do my best."