Osaka has come a long way to her first WTA 1000 final since 2020 Cincinnati. The former world number one dug deep to secure a comeback win against Belinda Bencic in a gruelling three-set match. She defeated the Swiss player 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to become the lowest ranked player to reach the final in Miami since 2005. 

The semifinal meeting between Osaka and Bencic was their fourth meeting at WTA tour level. Naomi failed the previous three matches so this comes at a very important moment in her career.

“I was thinking I have been in this position with her before, because I have played her multiple times,” said Osaka. “But I felt like all those times I have kind of been panicked. I was just telling myself, ‘This is a really good chance to show yourself how much you have matured … Just try not to repeat the mistakes that you have made before.”

Unseeded Naomi fired 18 aces in the two-hour long match, the most aces in a single match so far this season since Barty hit 17 against Kenin in Adelaide. Osaka has been incredible throughout this tournament and has shown exactly why she has four grand slam titles to her name. Bencic put up an impressive performance but fell short at crucial moments of the match where Naomi showed up valiantly. 

READ ALSO: NBA – Giannis Drops MVP Performance In Win Over The Nets

Standing in her way to the title is world number one Iga Swiatek, who is currently on an unbeaten streak in 16 matches following her victory over Jessica Pegula.