Naomi Osaka reaches semi-finals of Australian Open warm-up event

The former world No 1 has not played since the US Open after taking a break from tennis for mental health reasons; she reaches the semi-finals in Melbourne after a 6-1 7-5 victory over Andrea Petkovic; Spain reach ATP Cup final in Sydney

Last Updated: 07/01/22 5:48pm

Naomi Osaka will now face the third seed Veronika Kudermetova in the semi-finals of the Melbourne Summer Set 1

Naomi Osaka continued her winning return to the court by reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open warm-up tournament in Melbourne.

The reigning champion at Melbourne Park had not played since the US Open, taking a second break from the sport for mental health reasons, but has impressed this week.

She survived a second-set wobble to defeat German veteran Andrea Petkovic 6-1 7-5 and reach her first semi-final since last year’s Australian Open.

The result also meant that Osaka’s winning streak in Melbourne increases to 13 matches – she has won 22 of her last 23 encounters in the city since 2019.

Osaka will take on third seed Veronika Kudermetova in the semi-finals, while second seed Simona Halep meets Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen in the other contest.

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty is having a good run at the Adelaide International, and a 6-3 6-4 victory over former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin took her through to the semi-finals.

Next, she faces a tasty encounter with fifth seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek, who battled to a 6-3 2-6 6-1 victory over Victoria Azarenka.

Spain into ATP Cup final

The Spanish team were elated to make it through to the final of the ATP Cup

The Spanish team were elated to make it through to the final of the ATP Cup

Spain are the first team through to the finals of the ATP Cup in Sydney courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Poland.

After Pablo Carreno Busta comfortably defeated Jan Zielinski, Roberto Bautista Agut prevailed in one of the matches of the week against Hubert Hurkacz, coming through 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 7-6 (7-5).

Rafael Nadal opted not to play in the team event, instead contesting the ATP event in Melbourne.

He was given a free passage through to the semi-finals when opponent Tallon Griekspoor withdrew due to a foot injury. Nadal will now face Finn Emil Ruusuvuori as he aims to secure the 88th tour-level title.

In the other semi-final, the third seed Grigor Dimitrov faces American Maxime Cressy for the first time.

Andy Murray has been given a wild card into next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic which starts on Monday.

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