With Linette serving to stay in the opener at 5-3, Osaka cupped the view before her face between her hands, willing herself to focus. The world No.80 escaped the game with some solid serving of her own, but it was a brief reprieve.
From there, Osaka was in cruise control. The 21-year-old allowed herself a cheeky grin after catching Linette cold with a drop shot shortly before breaking for a 2-1 lead, then crushed a forehand return for a clean cross-court winner en route to a second break for 5-2, sealed with another scorching drive.
“I have been practicing dropshots a lot just for fun,” Osaka said.
“I decided to play a few in the match because I think when I get in the position to either hit a winner, people start backing up anyways, so I think that in a way could also be considered a good shot to hit.”