Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka cruises to first-round win – ESPN

Ny — Deffinishing champion Naomi Osaka made a worthwhile return to Grand Slam tennis, pulling amethod to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-1 on Monday Inside the opening spherical of the US Open.Osaka Did not play at Wimbledon after pulling out o…….


Ny — Deffinishing champion Naomi Osaka made a worthwhile return to Grand Slam tennis, pulling amethod to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-1 on Monday Inside the opening spherical of the US Open.

Osaka Did not play at Wimbledon after pulling out of the French Open following The primary spherical for psychological well being causes.

It was tied at 4-all Inside The primary set earlier than Osaka’s power started to make its mark. The No. 3 seed gained The subsequent seven video games To assemble a 5-0 lead Inside the second set. Osaka additionally compiled a 34-10 edge in complete winners and saved all eight break factors Bouzkova earned.

She gained her second US Open title final yr by beating Victoria Azarenka in three models.

“I imply, for me I’ve performed A lot of matches [at Arthur Ashe Stadium], I really feel it Might be the courtroom that I’ve performed In all probability the most matches in my profession,” Osaka said. “However yeah, undoubtedly I really feel actually snug right here And that i really feel having fun with An night match is A very huge honor Really. Playing The primary Evening time match is one factor I’ve by no implys carried out earlier than so yeah I am simply glad I gained.”

Earlier Monday, rising star Coco Gauff shook off a shaky stretch in her opening match earlier than rallying for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Magda Linette. The No. 21-seeded Gauff superior to face 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens Inside the second spherical.

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She had hopes of doing it extra simply after taking a 5-3 lead and serving for The primary set. However Linette gained The subsequent six video games to take the set and construct a 2-0 lead Inside the second earlier than the 17-yr-previous American regrouped.

“I simply primarytain in thoughts, like, final yr, not primarily being bored, Neverthemuch less it was simply so quiet for the US Open,” said Gauff, who misplaced Inside The primary spherical of final yr’s event. ”I undoubtedly missed The pleasure.”

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza, a pair of two-time Grand Slam champions Who’ve had their difficulties right here, additionally pulled out strong victories.

Stephens had maybe the strongest match Of all of them, needing 2 hours, 10 minutes to edge Madison Keys 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7) in a rematch of her victory Inside the 2017 final.

Arthur Ashe Stadium was Faraway from crammed for The start of that match, probably as a Outcome of followers confronted delays Getting into the Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Center on the day they have been allowed to return to the event.

Halep, who had consecutive first-spherical exits Inside the 2017 and 2018 US Opens, held off Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-6 (3). She Did not play in final yr’s fan-much less event.

“So for me it was regular to have the people Inside the stands and the noise That is On A daily basis Inside the US Open,” Halep said. “I started To love it. I Begin to embrace This stuff. I had nice on courtroom, And that i appreciated some People that have been screaming in Romanian additionally and in English.”

Muguruza, the No. 9 seed, superior with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Donna Vekic.

Carla Suarez Navarro was perioddicated by No. 26 seed Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4 a yr after revealing she had been recognized with Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Spaniard, who as quickly as was ranked as extreme as No. 6, introduced final September that she would bear six months of chemcompletely differentapy. Having earlier thanhand deliberate to retire after final season, she Instead returned from her remedy for the French Open, wright here she misplaced Inside The primary spherical. She misplaced as quickly as extra Inside The primary spherical at Wimbledon earlier than worthwhile a spherical On the Olympics.

Suarez Navarro said afterward it was her final singles match and that she was leaving fortunately.

“I misplaced, but this yr for me was A current, You understand,” she said. “Last yr on these dates, I do not know if I might be right here Ancompletely different time or not, And i am right here.”

The extremelight of the day Might have belonged To twenty-yr-previous wild-card entry Alycia Parks, who tied The women’s US Open serve velocity doc of 129 mph set by Venus Williams 14 yrs in the past.

Parks hit that mark all by way of a 6-3, 7-5 first-spherical loss to Olga Danilovic on Court 13 at Flushing Meadows. It was The primary Grand Slam primary-draw match of the 6-foot-1 Parks’ profession.

Williams established the doc all by way of A primary-spherical match On the 2007 US Open.

For her match Monday Evening time, Osaka entered Ashe Collectively with her ordinary first-spherical Slam jitters, but not Because of any sense of strain to win, Osaka said afterward.

Instead, it was based mostly on a want to play properly, particularly for the loud and appreciative full house that was tright here a yr after she gained the title in An virtually empty area as a Outcome of spectators have been banned then amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I inform People that I am a goodionist. I really feel for me, one factor that’s Decrease than goodion, Regardmuch less of The very Incontrovertible actuality that it Might be one factor good, is a disappointment. I do not actually assume that’s a healthful Mind-set, so [that’s] one factor that I truly needed To vary,” said Osaka, who subsequent faces 145th-ranked Olga Danilovic.

“On this event I simply Want to be Proud of understanding that I did my biggest and understanding that Regardmuch less of The very Incontrovertible actuality that I Did not play good, I used to be In a place to win a match in two models. … It is extra like a life factor,” she continued. “Like, I hope I can primarytain this thoughtsset all by way of my life going forward.”

Perhaps she wasn’t good as quickly as extrast Bouzkova, Who’s now 1-11 in Slam matches. In any case, the rating was 4-all Inside the early going. From tright here, although, Osaka reeled off eight of the final 9 video games.

She was helped by a serve that reached 120 mph.

“Last yr, Once we Did not have a crowd, I do Know it felt pretty lonely for me,” she said with a smile all by way of her on-courtroom interview. “I am glad to see little youngsters Inside the viewers — and, Really, grown-ups, too.”

Osaka improved to 55-14 in matches On the primarys, together with 22-3 On the US Open as she tries To Wind up to be The primary woman with consecutive trophies in New York since Serena Williams collected her third in a row in 2014.

Osaka beat Williams Inside the chaotic 2018 final in Ashe. She additionally has gained exhausting-courtroom primary titles On the Australian Open in 2019 and this February.

“I’ve performed A lot of matches on this courtroom,” Osaka tprevious the Ashe followers. “Definitely, I really feel actually snug right here.”

In completely different matches on Monday, three-time US Open runner-up Azarenka beat Tereza Martincova 6-4, 6-0. Azarenka, seeded 18th, trailed 4-1 Inside the opening set earlier than seizing administration.

Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, seeded Sixteenth, rallied to edge Dayana Yastremska 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Halep missed the French Open and Wimbledon — The two primary events she has gained — with a left calf damage, and her return to Grand Slam tennis acquired here On the one wright here she has had her least success.

Her loss to Kaia Kanepi in 2018 was The primary time the No. 1 seed misplaced Inside The primary spherical of the US Open Inside the expert period. She acknowledged after that defeat That maybe the noise Of latest York simply wasn’t her scene, and the sounds have been again Monday with the stands as quickly as extra allowed to be crammed to full performance.

“I misplaced A pair of events Inside The primary spherical right here, so I acquired Barely Little bit of the expertise from these moments,” Halep said. “Tright here’s not a completely different method. So I’ve To merely settle for it. I’ve To love it and to be An factor of it.”

Prolonged strains And huge crowds have been a readsimplyment for any participant. Keys Desired to attfinish wright hereas serving midmethod by way of the second set of her match as quickly as extrast Stephens as followers have been late returning to their seats after a changeover.

Halep was in some hazard as quickly as extra as quickly as extrast Giorgi, an Italian who recently gained A strong-courtroom title in Montreal for The Most very important victory of her profession. The No. 12 seed was damaged wright hereas serving for the match at 5-4 but recovered to wInside The final 4 factors of the tiebreaker.

Muguruza has additionally gained the French Open and Wimbledon, Neverthemuch less the US Open is The one primary wright here she hasn’t reached the quarterfinals. She was knocked out Inside The primary spherical simply two yrs in the past.

However she steadied herself in each tiebreakers as quickly as extrast Vekic, who reached the quarterfinals in 2019.


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