US Open: Naomi Osaka’s title defense ends with teenage Leila Fernandez


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Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka smashed her racket twice as she lost the second set of the tiebreak
place: Flushing Meadows, New York date: August 30 – September 12
coverage: Daily radio commentary on the BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra / BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentaries and matching reports on the website and app

Naomi Osaka’s US Open title defense ended as she fell in the third round to a stunning performance by Canadian teen Leila Fernandez.

The 18-year-old Fernandez capitalized as Osaka lost her nerve to take a stunning 5-7, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win.

Osaka suffered a break while serving for the match in the second set, and a poor tie-breaker gave Fernandez the lead under the New York lights.

The teen couldn’t contain her smile as she secured an amazing win.

Osaka never regained her composure after breaking in the second set, throwing her racket to the ground twice as the tiebreak flew away from her.

Fernandes smashed her in the opener of the third set and used her powerful forehand to plow her way to victory.

You will face another grand slam champion Angelique Kerber In the fourth round.

“From the start, I knew I could win,” Fernandez said.

“I wasn’t focused on Naomi, I was just focused on what I needed to do. The fans made a huge difference – they helped me win.”

Fernandez keeps his cool – as Osaka loses her salary

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka won the US Open in 2018 and 2020, beating Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka respectively.

Osaka has had a rough few months and took an eight-week break to protect her mental health after speaking openly about her depression.

She had limited time on the court, having played only five games in the past two months, and earned a third-round run in New York after her opponent withdrew.

For the first set and for the majority of the second set, Osaka looked in control, although Fernandes matched it with a forehand and powerful serve.

Osaka lost her rhythm while serving in the match 6-5, and gave Fernandez a crucial break when she sent in a long forehand.

The tiebreak quickly moved away from the two-time US Open champion, and Osaka pointed to herself and onto the court as the crowd swarmed behind her opponent.

The world number 70 Fernandes was the stark contrast to Osaka, celebrating with her powerful shot and pumping into the air after Osaka crossed the line.

Osaka spent the third set of changes with a towel over her head, trying to regain her composure, but her frustration was still palpable as she fell to an early respite and had to parry two break points to avoid a 3-0 loss.

While showing glimpses of her best form, she couldn’t force her to break Fernandez’s serve, fueling adolescence to the fans.

Osaka was booed for pushing Fernandes to hold with the teen advancing 30-0 and sending her to the match, but the Canadian responded with a choppy shot that earned three match points. Needing just one, she turned and celebrated when Osaka sent a cross forehand into the field.

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Analytics

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Just hours after 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, another teen was getting the thrill at Arthur Ashe Stadium with a bold and elaborate performance.

A tight, high-quality match seemed to be headed toward Osaka as they rose to victory in a straight set 6-5. But at that point, the defending champion’s forehand had given up on her, and her frustration only exacerbated.

Osaka is short on matches – having taken a break from the sport to maintain her mental health – but is starting to look threatened again after losing her serve early in the deciding set.

But it proved too late. Fernandes’ left serve caused problems for Osaka all night, and helped by some solid returns, the Canadian didn’t miss her chance.

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Halep overcomes ‘crazy on the court’

Simona Halep
Simona Halep’s two-time Grand Slam win came at the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon in 2019

twelfth roman seed Simona Halep She rediscovered some pre-calf injury with a 7-6 (13-11), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

Playing with her right thigh strapped tight, Halep saved three set points in the first set of the tiebreak, and had to fight back from collapsing in every set.

“Before the match, I was very nervous and said [her coach] Darren Cahill that my front hand was lost. “So I can’t feel it anymore,” Halep said.

“I had emotions. I was nervous. And I was a little crazy on the court, too, the frustrations frustrated me a little bit.

“But I fought, and this win gives me a lot of confidence that my game will be back and the fighting spirit is there as well.”

You will encounter the fifth seed Elina Svitolina Next after the Ukrainian victory over Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2.

Garbin Muguruza She earlier won the Grand Slam Champions Battle where she defeated Victoria Azarenka to reach the fourth round.

The two players won the four titles and are formerly ranked in the world, but it was the Spaniard Muguruza who beat Azarenka of Belarus 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

This is the first time that Muguruza will play with the French Open champion Barbora Krijcikova After that, he made it to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Roland Garros champion Kryzhikova continued her amazing season with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Russian Kamila Rakhimova.

Belgian Elise Mertens He beat Tunisian quarter-finalist Anas Jaber 6-3 7-5 to set up a meeting with second seed Arina Sabalenka or home favorite Daniel Collins.

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