Naomi Osaka will face American Danielle Collins for a spot in the Miami Open semifinals after the Japanese star beat Alison Riske 6-3, 6.4 on Monday.
Osaka has responded strongly in Florida, advancing to the quarter-finals after leaving Indian Wells in tears earlier this month after being heckled by a fan.
The four-time Grand Slam champion, who received a walkover in the previous round, has yet to drop a set and remains one of the favorites to clinch the title.
“I’m definitely happy,” Osaka said afterward during an on-court interview.
“Last year I reached the quarter-finals in Miami after winning in Australia and I am winning matches here this year too, but I feel more grateful, this is one of the funniest moments of my life.”
“There were a lot of things on my mind last year,” added Osaka, who was able to hold her own against American Riske in their third-round encounter and saved seven of the eight break points faced.
“Maybe I was trying to get back to number one or other things that aren’t that important but weighed heavily on me at the time. I’m happy to be healthy,” added Osaka, who recently revealed she has benefited from therapy. to address her mental health issues.
The ninth-seeded Collins, who reached the semifinals in Miami in 2018, beat Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.
Newcomer World No.1 Iga Swiatek also advanced comfortably on Monday, sweeping No.14 seed Coco Gauff 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 16 minutes.
Second-seeded Swiatek, who took over the top seed on Friday following Ashleigh Barty’s surprising retirement, is now on a 14-game unbeaten streak.
The 20-year-old Pole won the WTA 1000 event in Doha and then took victory in Indian Wells earlier this month.
She is trying to become the fourth woman to win Indian Wells and Miami in the same season after Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.