Osaka gatecrashes Pan Pacific Open semis as Muguruza flops

Tokyo (AFP) –


Japan's Naomi Osaka produced another explosive performance to beat Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich and reach the Pan Pacific Open semi-finals on Friday.

Osaka, born of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, will face Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in the last four after her shock three-set victory over top seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

The 18-year-old Osaka, who models her power game on her idol Serena Williams, reached the last four of a WTA tournament for the first time after a 6-3, 7-6 victory in Tokyo, finishing in style by smashing an ace down the centre line.

Osaka erased a 5-0 deficit in the second set to force a tiebreak she won 8-6 to advance, but Svitlona will be a threat after bundling out French Open champion Muguruza 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

On the other side of the draw, second seed Agnieszka Radwanska booked her place in the semi-finals as the Pole overpowered Puerto Rico's Rio Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig 6-2, 6-3.

She next plays former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, winner in Tokyo six years ago, after the Dane beat Poland's Magda Linette 6-4, 6-3.