2021 U.S. Open: Highlights From Day 1

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka had a strong beginning to the protection of her U.S. Open title, posting a 6-4, 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic that was slightly nearer than the final rating suggested.

Osaka and Bouzkova had been dead even by a hard-fought first set full of tight games, lengthy factors, and hard-hitting rallies. Within the tenth game, Osaka lastly forced Bouzkova right into a backhand error on her third set level to take the lead with her first service break and declare the opening set.

Osaka appeared to settle in from there, jetting to a 5-0 lead within the second set earlier than Bouzkova was lastly able to maintain her serve. Osaka finished Bouzkova off within the next game with a forehand winner down the line that caught the sting of the paint.

This was a far totally different atmosphere than something Osaka skilled on her march to the championship final yr when no spectators were allowed in the match. She played Monday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the entrance of nearly 20,000 followers who had been loud all night time and have begun to embrace her as one of their very own. Osaka was born in Japan and represents that nation however grew up largely in New York and Florida.

“It feels sort of superb to play in entrance of everyone once more,” Osaka said after the match, “The power here is unmatched.”

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