After an uneven start, Naomi Osaka starts US Open title defense with win over Anna Blinkova

(CNN) — Despite an up-and-down functionality, Naomi Osaka’s US Open title defense is underway in New York.
The world No. 1 in Japan defeated No. 84 Anna Blinkova of Russia 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 on Tuesday in her return to Arthur Ashe Stadium, the scene with her first big title. However, it was far from easy.
„I don’t think I’ve ever been nervous in my entire life,“ Osaka stated to ESPN on court following the triumph.
Osaka got off to a slow start, tracking with an early break in the opening set. But the champion responded in a row — the second of which bringing out a grin from the 21-year-old — prior to closing out the first set.
The roller coaster continued with Osaka, in the next group. In the game, she went on to crack Blinkova at appreciate. Serving for the match at 6-5, nonetheless, wasn’t so straightforward, with Blinkova saving a match point and forcing the tiebreak. On her fifth place stage, Blinkova came through to force a decider.
After all of that function, Osaka had no trouble closing the third set. She finished in a game that lasted two months 28 minutes to 50 unforced errors with 43 winners.
„I only came off really slow, and I really found my rhythm,“ Osaka stated to ESPN. „But I believe I just fought as hard as I could, and that I managed to win.“
On asked why she was worried, Osaka responded she“only definitely did not wish to lose at the first round.“
„You sort of want to do well when you did last year,“ Osaka stated to the audience. „For me, I’m just — I do not understand. I truly love you guys, so I wished to stay here more.“
Osaka is currently looking to become first woman to defend a US Open title because Serena Williams won three in a row from 2012 to 2014. She might have to defend her title to maintain the No. 1 ranking. Osaka opponent will be Poland’s Magda Linette, who obtained her first career WTA title over the weekend at the NYJTL Bronx Open.
Back in January when she won the Australian Open, Osaka became the very first girl to win her second consecutive major after winning her early since Jennifer Capriati did so in 2001 (Australian Open followed with the French Open). But after hoisting the prize at Melbourne, Osaka has been a bit jagged from the courts that are hard, dropping in the very first round at Wimbledon and in the third round of the French Open.
There’s also been recent accident. Earlier this month at the Southern and Western Open in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio, Osaka has been forced to retire in her match from American Sofia Kenin due to a knee injury. Osaka wore a knee brace in her match Tuesday.
While she might not have been on Tuesday, Osaka is back on her surface that is comfortable. She has reached two quarterfinals at Toronto and Cincinnati, and every one of her career singles titles have been won on hard courts, having also won Indian Wells in 2018.

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