BEIJING, China - WTA World No.6 Naomi Osaka produced another blistering display to move into the quarterfinals of the China Open, with Julia Goerges her victim as she claimed a one-sided 6-1, 6-2 victory, which she branded her best of the tournament to date.
Still on a high from winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, the Japanese had come out on top in 12 of her previous 13 matches dating back to her first round at Flushing Meadows and produced another powerful display to see off the No.10 seed.
Osaka admitted after the victory that sometimes she is not exactly sure how well she played in certain matches but felt things went well against Goerges.
"I'm not really sure what I'm capable of and also how I play on the day," she confessed. "I know I played well today, better than all the other days."
— WTA (@WTA) October 4, 2018
Furthermore, she said that she is not even particularly aware of her own strengths.
"I'm not really sure, if someone were to play against me, what the first thing they would say would be," he said. "I know playing against Goerges, that she has a good serve, for example.
"Key today was just staying really focused and trying to return well because we both have really good serves. Well, she has a really good serve and I have a good serve!"
Goerges required three sets to beat Johanna Konta in the opening round and was locked a 2-2 with Lesia Tsurenko in the decider in the second when the Ukrainian was forced to retire.
The 29-year-old would have been under no illusions as to the task that faced her against the red-hot Osaka, and particularly after the opening game, which saw five deuces before the Japanese eventually claimed it.
Goerges had the chance to hit back immediately as she fashioned two openings of her own, yet this provoked the best from Osaka, who won four successive points and thereafter took total control of the match.
Indeed, from trailing 15-40, she won 16 of the next 17 points to simply blow away the WTA World No.10, who belatedly got a game back by way of consolation.
— WTA (@WTA) October 4, 2018
Osaka, who had held to end the first set, continued her positive momentum into the second and rapidly established a double-break advantage. The games were now more competitive than they had been in the opener, but Osaka had the edge throughout as she chalked up another victory.
"I think my biggest improvement is mental," she said when asked why she has been able to make such a stellar jump over the course of the last year, elevating her well into the Top 10.
"My game is more consistent, there are not so many unforced errors. I'm not sure how many I hit today, but sometimes last year I was hitting a lot!"
Next up for Osaka, who had never been further than the first round in Beijing previously, is Zhang Shuai, another in-form player, who defeated WTA World No.3 Angelique Kerber in three sets on Thursday.