With a much more fought victory than expected against the young Marta Kostyuk, the Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka sealed her pass to the round of 16 of the United States Open on a day in which Novak Djokovic will face the German Jan-Lennard Struff.
Osaka, champion of the US Open in 2018, went through difficult moments against the Ukrainian Kostyuk, 18, but ended up beating her 6-3, 6-7 (7-4) and 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes of play on the Arthur Ashe court, the main court of the Flushing Meadows (New York) tennis complex.
Kostyuk, number 137 of the WTA, was not intimidated by the former world number one, whom she embarrassed until she was forced to play a third set, in which she had five balls to break her serve and take a 3-1 advantage.
“Honestly, I don’t know how I won it,” Osaka said of that game. Probably from experience. She is very young and I have more games like this one ».
After the frustration of losing the second set in the ‘tie break’, which he paid for by throwing his racket against the ground, Osaka remained calm to await the unforced errors of the young Kostyuk, who ended up feeling the pressure but left a great impression on Flushing Meadows.
“She played very well, I’m a little scared of what it will be like in the future,” Osaka said.
The 22-year-old Japanese will play the round of 16 against the winner of the match between Polish Magda Linette (WTA number 37) and Estonian Anett Kontaveit (21).
The Croatian Petra Martic, the eighth seed of the tournament, beat the Russian Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 6-3 and will play the eighth against the Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
Another of the eighth crosses will be between the American Jennifer Brady and the German Angelique Kerber, former world number one.
Brady, winner of the Lexington (United States) tournament in mid-August, beat French Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-3 on Friday, who on Wednesday gave the great surprise of the tournament so far by eliminating the first seed female, the Czech Karolina Pliskova.
On Friday morning, the match between Spain’s Sara Sorribes and Belgian Elise Mertens was also resumed, which was suspended on Thursday due to rain when Mertens won by a set to zero.
The Belgian finally won 6-3 and 7-5 in a total of two hours and 13 minutes of play.
– Davidovich, first classified –
In the men’s category, Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion (2011, 2015 and 2018), will play Jan-Lennard Struff from 7:00 p.m. local time (23:00 GMT) for a place in the round of 16.
This German player, number 29 in the ATP ranking, does not have titles or finals in the individual category on the circuit at 30 years of age.
After giving up just one set in his matches to Bosnian Damir Dzumhur and Britain’s Kyle Edmund, Djokovic could continue his run smoothly at the US Open, where he has no chance of meeting any of the top six seeds before the semi-finals.
‘Nole’ has two great motivations to conquer the tournament in New York since, on the one hand, he would raise his 18th Grand Slam title by approaching Rafa Nadal (19) and Roger Federer (20), and, on the other, he would maintain his unbeaten in the 2020 season, a period in which he adds 25 wins without knowing defeat.
Two of the Serbian’s main rivals, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (fourth seed) and German Alexander Zverev (fifth), play this Friday against Croatian Borna Coric and Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, respectively.
On Friday, the first to seal his classification to the round of 16 was the Spanish Alejandro Davidovich, 21, who defeated the British Cameron Norrie 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-2 and 6 -one.
In his second Grand Slam main draw appearance, Davidovich will face the winner of the Zverev-Mannarino matchup.
Another Spaniard, Pablo Carreño, will face Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis on Friday for another place in the round of 16, while Roberto Bautista will face Canadian Vasek Pospisil on Saturday. AFP (HN).