Naomi Osaka has breezed past Angelique Kerber into the third round of the Miami Open, beating the German 6-2 6-3 in just over an hour.
The four-time Grand Slam winner was simply too good for Kerber, who produced a lacklustre performance and could not get into any rhythm.
It is the first time in over a year Osaka has got a win against a player in the top 20 of the WTA rankings. She sealed it against a German opponent who she had lost four of her previous five matches against.
“She is the first high seeded player I’ve beaten this season,” Osaka said in her on-court interview afterwards.
“I went into the match wanting to play my game. I still had the memories of all the matches she has beaten me before.
“I just wanted to play as well I could and it worked out in the end.
“I came into the match wanting to dictate and come into the net if I needed to. That’s something I’m practising. My power on the shots was working really well today.”
The Japanese No. 78 seed – who said after her straight sets win over Astra Sharma in the second round that she had been consulting a therapist to help her deal with her mental health issues – got off to a fast start as she reeled off three games in a row.
Kerber could not find a way back into the set, winning just two service games as Osaka went on to take the opener in 30 minutes.
The former world number one, who has three Grand Slam titles to her name, did not look her usual self on court and Osaka ruthlessly capitalised.
The 24-year-old broke Kerber’s serve to move into a 3-1 lead before efficiently holding her service games to win the match in under an hour.