US Open 2020: Naomi Osaka tosses racket, overcomes test from teenager

By: AP |

Updated: September 5, 2020 12:50:14 pm

Naomi Osaka, of Japan, serves to Marta Kostyuk, of the Ukraine, throughout the third spherical of the US Open. (AP)

Naomi Osaka spiked her racket after one errant forehand late within the second set on the US Open, then flung it the size of the baseline after a missed backhand return ceded that tiebreaker.

Sometimes, that’s the form of response it takes to proper issues for Osaka. And, maybe surprisingly, she wanted no matter push she might get in Friday’s third-round match.

Facing an opponent competing in simply her second main event, two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka finally found out a strategy to flip a good one right into a runaway and beat 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2 by claiming the ultimate 5 video games at Flushing Meadows.

“While I was playing, honestly, I was cursing myself out,” Osaka mentioned throughout an on-court interview, “so you wouldn’t want to know what I was saying.”

After taking issues out on her racket, Osaka sat with a white towel draped over head throughout a changeover.

“It’s what I do in times of extreme anger and frustration,” she mentioned.

Still, she improved to 7-0 since tennis resumed after a hiatus of greater than 5 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s spectacular, to make certain, however nonetheless a great distance from what top-ranked Novak Djokovic has achieved in 2020. He is 26-0 this season — and his successful streak courting to late final 12 months is now at 29 matches — after a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 28 seed Jan-Lennard Struff on Friday night time.

Djokovic’s bid for a fourth championship in New York and 18th Grand Slam title total — Roger Federer, with 20, and Rafael Nadal, with 19, are the one males with extra, and neither entered this event — will proceed within the fourth spherical towards Twentieth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday.

Another previous U.S. Open champion transferring into the fourth spherical Friday was 2016 titlist Angelique Kerber, who defeated 20-year-old American Ann Li 6-3, 6-4. Kerber’s subsequent opponent is one other American, Twenty eighth-seeded Jennifer Brady, a 6-3, 6-3 winner towards Caroline Garcia.

In the earlier spherical, Garcia upset top-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

Next up for Osaka might be large hitter Anett Kontaveit, an Estonian seeded 14th. She had a a lot simpler time in a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 24 Magda Linette.

In the day’s final ladies’s match, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat 63rd-ranked American Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-3. She’ll face one other American, 93rd-ranked Shelby Rogers, within the subsequent spherical.

Men reaching the fourth spherical included No. 5 Alexander Zverev, No. 7 David Goffin, No. 12 Denis Shapovalov — who gained a five-setter over No. 19 Taylor Fritz — Jordan Thompson and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The day ended with a meltdown by No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who wasted six match factors within the fourth set and fell to Borna Coric 6-7 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4). It was the second straight match that the Twenty seventh-seeded Coric went 5 units and greater than 4 hours for a win.

Down 5-1 within the fourth set, he broke Tsitsipas three straight occasions, combating off six break factors.

“It was just pure luck,” Coric mentioned.

Zverev’s four-set win over No. 32 Adrian Mannarino started greater than 2 1/2 hours later than deliberate in Louis Armstrong Stadium after the state of New York bought concerned in whether or not Mannarino ought to be allowed to proceed to take part in any respect.

Mannarino is a part of a gaggle of seven gamers who have been positioned beneath additional restrictions throughout the event — together with being examined each day for the coronavirus — as a result of contact tracing decided they doubtlessly might have been uncovered to COVID-19 by Benoit Paire, the one entrant to test optimistic.

Mannarino mentioned he discovered a couple of half-hour earlier than lastly heading to the courtroom to play that he was cleared.

With shadows creeping throughout the Arthur Ashe Stadium courtroom within the early afternoon, the 137th-ranked Kostyuk actually had her probabilities to tug off a major shock.

The key second: Kostyuk held 5 break factors that might have given her a 3-1 lead within the remaining set.

“A turning point,” Osaka would say later.

She fended off each a kind of and held to 2-all, starting her match-closing run.

“I’m kind of scared how she’s going to be in the future,” mentioned Osaka, who performed with tape wrapping her left hamstring, which has been an issue since final week. “She has no fear.”

Kostyuk had her personal points: She twice took a medical timeout to have a coach tape her proper ankle.

But she additionally was capable of management the outcomes of factors for stretches, successful 19 of the 23 factors when she went to the online. The Ukrainian teen additionally delivered extra winners than Osaka, 36-30, over the match’s 2 1/2 hours.

“I guess I would say the thing that made me most displeased was probably the decisions that I was making and the fact that I started becoming way too passive,” Osaka mentioned, “and hoping that she would, you know, make an unforced error.”

Before and after the match, Osaka wore a masks bearing the title of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot after being pursued by armed white males in Georgia.

Each time on courtroom throughout the event, Osaka is carrying a special masks in reminiscence of a sufferer of racial injustice.

“None of these deaths had to happen,” Osaka mentioned. “For me, I just want everyone to know the names more.”

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