Osaka delighted with hometown progress
Naomi Osaka says she felt "nervous" as she booked her place in the last eight of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in her home city of Osaka.
The two-time Grand Slam winner fought back from being a double-break down during the first set to claim a 7-5 6-3 victory over Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova during their second-round clash on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old is the top seed for her home event, which is being played in Osaka for the first time this year, and she admits she felt anxious during her victory over Tomova.
"I was very nervous playing this match, because I felt like I really wanted to win," she told the press, after the match. "After I won, I felt relieved, and also, I guess, happy with certain parts of how I was playing."
Osaka is a two-time former finalist at the tournament, finishing runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in 2016 and Karolina Pliskova last year when the tournament was being played in Tokyo.
The world number four is now hoping to go one better this time around, although she insists she is not feeling any extra pressure to succeed.
"I always feel better here," she added. "Of course, there's always going to be a feeling of pressure, but for me, I don't feel pressure from the city that I'm in, I feel pressure from the position - from me, not the location. So that's never really a factor for me."
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.