Naomi Osaka reached the semifinal at the Western & Southern Open in August after coming back from a set down to defeat Anett Kontaveit.
After seeing a closely contested opening set go the way of the Estonian, Osaka raised her level to reel off nine games in a row, firing 29 winners en route to a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
“For me this entire week I have just been speaking about trying to be more positive,” Osaka said of the nine-game run that sparked her turnaround. “So I think just for the first set and honestly a couple of games in the second I was just really being down on myself and super negative.
“For me… if I had to lose a match, I didn't want to lose a match on that note. I just tried to be more positive and pump myself up.”
The performance was a prelude to the kind of U.S. hard-court form that saw Osaka storm to the 2020 US Open title.
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