New York, September 31
Japan’s Naomi Osaka confirmed no indicators of discomfort from the harm that pressured her to overlook a ultimate on Saturday however the former US Open champion needed to dig deep to beat compatriot Misaki Doi 6-2 5-7 6-2 in her opener at Flushing Meadows.
A left hamstring harm had pressured Osaka to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open ultimate towards Victoria Azarenka however the fourth seed’s motion didn’t appear to be affected towards Doi on Monday.
The previous week noticed Osaka, 22, emerge as tennis’ torchbearer in protests towards racial injustice and she or he walked out to the courtroom sporting a masks that includes the title of Breonna Taylor, a Black lady killed by law enforcement officials who burst into her condominium in March.
“Actually, so I have seven (masks),” mentioned Osaka.
“It’s quite sad that seven masks aren’t enough for all the names. Hopefully I’ll get to the final so you can see all of them.”
Osaka initially pulled out of her semi-finals on the Western & Southern Open on Thursday to protest the police capturing of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
She reversed her resolution after tennis governing our bodies suspended the event to affix the protests.
With no spectators allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on account of COVID-19 well being and security protocols, massive sections of seating within the Arthur Ashe Stadium courtroom had been lined with ‘Black Lives Matter’ banners.
Osaka, the 2018 champion, began strongly within the opening set as she broke Doi’s serve twice with out dealing with a single breakpoint.
But she struggled together with her serve within the second and her unforced errors mounted because the 81st-ranked Doi, who misplaced to Osaka of their solely earlier assembly in 2016, levelled the match with a second break.
Normal service was resumed within the decider, nevertheless, as Osaka broke her Fed Cup workforce mate early earlier than sealing the win with a second break.
“It was very difficult and I kind of expected it because first-round nerves and also she’s a tough opponent so I knew there was a chance it would get really long,” Osaka mentioned in a courtside interview.
“I felt like it could have been better (with my serve) but it did what it needed to do on the very important points so I can’t be that mad. I definitely need to practise some more.”
Next up for Osaka, who was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mom and moved to the United States when she was three, might be Italian Camila Giorgi, who earlier beat Alison van Uytvanck 2-6 6-1 7-5.
“She’s very unpredictable for me so I guess I’m going to have to be on my toes,” Osaka mentioned. Reuters