NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Naomi Osaka is again in Grand Slam motion after a psychological well being break. Again to enjoying fairly nicely, too.
After a decent begin to her first-round U.S. Open match Monday evening, the reigning champion grabbed eight of the final 9 video games and put collectively a 6-4, 6-1 victory over 87th-ranked Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.
Helped by a serve that reached 120 mph, Osaka saved all eight break factors she confronted and collected a 34-10 edge in whole winners. She hadn’t performed at considered one of her sport’s 4 main tournaments since Could 30 on the French Open.
That day, Osaka skipped her necessary news convention after her first-round victory in Paris, drawing a $15,000 superb and a warning from the heads of the Slams that she may face a suspension. She responded by pulling out of Roland Garros, explaining that she feels nervousness when talking to the media and has handled melancholy for years. Osaka then sat out Wimbledon, too.
A yr in the past, when she received the title at Flushing Meadows for the second time, there weren’t any spectators allowed, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However they returned Monday in full power, and Osaka heard loads of assist from the 1000’s in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It feels type of loopy to play in entrance of everybody once more. I simply wish to say thanks for popping out right here. Final yr, after we didn’t have a crowd, I do know it felt fairly lonely for me,” she stated with a smile throughout her on-court interview. “I’m glad to see little youngsters within the viewers — and, after all, grown-ups, too.”
Whereas dropping Bouzkova’s profession mark in main matches to 1-11, Osaka improved her personal to 55-14, together with 22-3 on the U.S. Open as she tries to turn out to be the primary girl with consecutive trophies in New York since Serena Williams collected her third in a row in 2014.
Osaka beat Williams within the chaotic 2018 closing in Ashe. She additionally has received hard-court main titles on the Australian Open in 2019 and this February.
“I’ve performed loads of matches on this court docket,” Osaka informed the Ashe followers. “Positively, I really feel actually comfy right here.”
Was dwelling, truly. She was born in Japan to a Japanese mom and Haitian father, and when Osaka was 3, the household moved to Queens. They lived there till she was 8, after they went to Florida.
Final week, Osaka went to her previous neighborhood to take a look at tennis courts there that she paid to have refurbished.
“It positively meant loads to me … simply to revisit my previous courts and see acquainted faces,” she stated.
Her match towards Bouzkova initially was scheduled to start round 7:30 p.m., however didn’t get going till after 9 p.m., on account of the previous match between Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas lasting almost 5 hours.
When that males’s matchup ended, 1000’s of followers with evening session tickets wanted to attend to get into Ashe whereas these holding day session seats had been cleared out and the world was cleaned.
As play started, Osaka was a tad tentative, permitting Bouzkova to maintain issues shut for some time. However from 4-all within the first set, every part started to go Osaka’s approach.
She had fewer break probabilities total — simply six — however managed to transform half of them, and her serve and quick-strike forehand did the remaining.
Subsequent up for Osaka is a match towards 145th-ranked Olga Danilovic.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.)
https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/08/31/naomi-osaka-us-open-marie-bouzkova/ | Naomi Osaka Makes Successful Return To Grand Slam Tennis At US Open – CBS New York