Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka both lose in US Open first round
Bethanie Matkovich, USA TODAY Sports | USATODAY
Posted: 11:03 AM, June 20, 2018
Updated: 11:04 AM, June 20, 2018
FILE – In this May 14, 2018, file photo, Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York. Osaka was eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, June 1st, the 17th match of the season.
NEW YORK — Naomi Osaka’s career has been marked with a history of near-misses.
The U.S. Open champ who’s had her fair share of ups and downs in her first 15 months of the season is now back among the top-50, but not without a loss. In Saturday’s opening round she lost 6-4, 6-4 to compatriot Madison Keys.
In the previous two seasons Osaka had reached the final in the U.S. Open and Wimbledon but was unable to follow up her success with top-3 finishes at the Olympics and in 2014.
The U.S. Open, on the other hand, has been a goal she’s had for a few years. Now in the first round, she’ll have to start the second half of the season from there.
A year ago in September, the first round of the U.S. Open was a difficult place for Osaka to be. She lost to Petra Kvitova in the third round.
And while she and Kvitova are close to the top of the rankings, the two players aren’t in the same mindset.
“In the next few months of tournaments, we’ll see what we can do,” Osaka said. “Every person goes through ups and downs from time to time. I have ups. I have downs.”
Keys was once the No. 1 player in the women’s game in the United States. She’ll try to make this her second U.S. Open appearance in her career. She had a disappointing season in 2016, however, when she finished ranked 44th heading into the Olympics.