“I think for me I feel like I didn't dip at all during this match, and she was just playing so well. I was just waiting for her to get a little bit tired,” said Osaka having booked a third-round encounter with world No.42 Katerina Siniakova.
“I felt like once I was towards the back of the court and she was more dictating, then the point was immediately over. I felt like I had to be more aggressive, and that's kind of hard to do while you're down and you have to win a lot of games in a row.”
Near miss for former No.1
For Azarenka it’s a case of pride in pushing the top seed to the limit. “That's very optimistic for me, I know I'm going to learn a lot from today,” she said. “I know that my game is there. Very, very close. I'm going to keep fighting and keep improving. I believe that finally my progress is showing from week to week.”
Azarenka also hailed the mental fortitude of the world No.1 for finding the answers in the defining moments.
“I think that I played very smart. I believe I didn't take some of my chances, but I felt that the margin of opportunity was very little for both of us. She has obviously a lot of confidence playing right now, so in those moments, she's been a lot in those situations where those margins are really small.
"She's been playing really well and proving that she deserves to be where she's at right now.”