Reigning US Open champ Osaka survives scare in Melbourne
REIGNING US Open champion Naomi Osaka has survived a giant scare against Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei to progress to the final 16 at the Australian Open.
The world No.4 trailed a set and 4-1 before rallying to beat the crafty 28th seed 5-7 6-4 6-1 in the third round on Saturday.
Osaka, who claimed her maiden grand slam at Flushing Meadows with a controversial win over Serena Williams, struggled early against the slice and off-pace shots of Hsieh.
The 21-year-old made 20 unforced errors in the first set and found herself down a break in the second and staring down the barrel of a first-week exit.
But Osaka clicked into gear, reeling off 11 of the last 12 games to make the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the second straight year.
"I just thought I didn't want to give up. I really love grand slams. Anything that I can do to stay here a bit longer I try to do," she said.
Osaka rose from world No.68 to No.5 in 2018, winning her maiden WTA title at Indian Wells before US Open success in September.
The Japanese superstar will meet either 13th-seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova or China's Qiang Wang, the 21st seed, for a place in the quarter-finals.