US Open champion Naomi Osaka will miss the French Open due to a hamstring injury.

The Japanese star claimed her third grand slam title with a win over Victoria Azarenka in the final in New York on Saturday.

Osaka had her left leg heavily strapped during the tournament and the 22-year-old confirmed she would miss the French Open, with the main draw due to start on September 27.

"Hey guys, first and foremost thank [sic] so much for all the support over the last three weeks. I couldn't have done it without you!" she posted on Twitter.

"Unfortunately I won't be able to play the French Open this year. My hamstring is still sore so I wouldn't have enough time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organisers and players all the best."

Osaka's best result at Roland Garros has been reaching the third round three times, including in 2019.

Naomi Osaka simply wanted to avoid an embarrassing loss before recovering to beat Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final.

Osaka claimed her third grand slam title and second in New York, overcoming Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3 in the decider on Saturday.

The Japanese star found herself behind a set and a break before fighting back.

Osaka, 22, said her aim was to avoid a thrashing after making such a poor start.

"I think in the first set I was so nervous, I wasn't moving my feet," she told a news conference.

"I felt like I was not playing – not that I expect myself to play 100 per cent, but it would be nice if I could even play, like, 70 per cent. But, yeah, I just felt like I was too much in my own head.

"Then in the second set, of course I was down early, which really didn't help me out. I just thought to myself to be positive, don't lose 6-1 6-0, hopefully give her a slight run for her money.

"Yeah, I just sort of ran with that line of thinking."

Osaka wore a face mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy shot and killed by police in 2014.

It was the seventh different name worn by Osaka at the US Open as she drew attention to police brutality and racism.

Asked if she would be willing to meet families of victims at the end of the season, Osaka said: "Yeah, I mean, definitely. I feel like for me I learn more through experiences.

"Everyone sort of thinks they know, or I actually don't want to know how they're feeling or how they felt during the process.

"For me, I feel like sharing stories and hearing people's experiences is very valuable."

Victoria Azarenka hopes French Open organisers will put players first "rather than making money".

The rescheduled grand slam is set to start on September 27 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with fans to be in attendance.

Although it will be a limited number of spectators, it comes as COVID-19 cases surge again in France.

After losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka on Saturday, Azarenka urged officials to protect players.

"I'm kind of excited for that, to play on clay. I haven't had the best relationship with clay seasons for years. Last year I kind of had a lot of fun. So I'm looking forward to just slide a little more," she told a news conference.

"It will be very interesting for me to see how French Open is going to handle the situation with the bubble life, with the COVID now.

"I hope they will do a good job of protecting the players first rather than making money. So we'll see."

Azarenka fell short of a third grand slam title and first since 2013, losing 1-6 6-3 6-3 to Osaka in what was her fifth major final.

While accepting the defeat hurt, the Belarusian said she would move on quickly.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm not necessarily disappointed. It's just painful. It's painful to lose. That is what it is. It was close. I was close. But it didn't go my way," Azarenka said.

"Am I going to think about it too long? Not at all. I said it. I win or I lose, I'm not going to change. I'm not going to sit here and be miserable. This was an experience that was just an experience that didn't go my way.

"I had a great two weeks. I enjoyed myself. I did everything I could today. Could I have played better? I think I could. But I left everything I could on the court today. She won the match. All the credit to Naomi. She's a champion.

"As I said, I thought third time is a charm, but I got to try again. That's what I'm going to do."

Naomi Osaka landed her second US Open title in three years – and unlike last time there was unmitigated joy for the Japanese player.

Her 2018 triumph was largely overshadowed by Serena Williams' outbursts towards umpire Carlos Ramos, which led to a hostile crowd atmosphere, even during the trophy ceremony.

Osaka hid her face behind a visor, having been reduced to tears, and it was about as unpleasant as any first grand slam victory experience could possibly be.

On that occasion, Osaka struggled to find a smile. Sensing the crowd were baying for a Williams win, she said then: "I know everyone was cheering for her and I'm sorry it had to end like this."

But this time Osaka had her moment, albeit in unusual circumstances, with no spectators inside Arthur Ashe Stadium but for a scattering of officials, players, coaches and loved ones.na

She was able to celebrate with her team, with nothing to detract from the moment.

The satisfaction was obvious, with the 22-year-old securing her third slam, lying down on the court and taking in the moment after fending off Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3.

Osaka would have raised laughter from a crowd with her description of that moment, explaining why she did not fall immediately to the floor after sealing the win but carefully chose her spot.

"Because I always see everyone collapse after match point," she said, asked what was going through her mind. "But I always think you may injure yourself so I wanted to do it safely."

She explained how she was able to turn around the match. Doing so made Osaka the first player since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario against Steffi Graf at the 1994 US Open to drop the opening set yet take the women's singles title.

"I just thought it would be very embarrassing to lose this in under an hour so I had to try as hard as I can and stop having a really bad attitude," Osaka said.

There was clear bonhomie between the two finalists, with Azarenka telling Osaka: "I'm very happy for you and I hope we can meet in some more finals again."

In response, Osaka said: "I actually don't want to play you in more finals. I didn't really enjoy that! It was a really tough match for me."

She came onto the court wearing a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy who was shot dead by police in Cleveland, Ohio, six years ago.

Osaka has worn similar masks, with a different name each time, throughout the tournament, in her effort to encourage the conversation in the United States and beyond about racial inequality and police brutality.

Asked what message she was trying to get across, Osaka told the on-court interviewer: "What was the message that you got? [That] was more of the question.

"The point is to make people start talking.

"I've been inside of the bubble so I'm not really sure what's really going on in the outside world. All I can tell is what's going on on social media and I feel like the more retweets it gets – that's so lame, but you know, the more people talk about it."

Naomi Osaka landed the third grand slam title of her career and second at the US Open as she produced a brilliant fightback to deny Victoria Azarenka.

The Japanese player won 1-6 6-3 6-3 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, becoming only the fifth player in the Open Era to win her first three finals at the majors.

It was a staggering effort, not least because she lost the first set in just 27 minutes, with Azarenka carrying on where she left off against Serena Williams in the semi-finals.

At that stage, the final at Flushing Meadows looked set to be disappointingly one-sided and brief, and that sense was only accentuated when Azarenka broke immediately in the second set too.

By then there had already been one racket fling from Osaka, the 22-year-old who might just become the dominant player of her generation but found herself in a huff.

Suddenly, however, the match flipped. Osaka began to land her big shots, and the result was that she won seven of the next eight games.

Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, lost back-to-back US Open finals to Williams in 2012 and 2013, and she dearly did not want to experience that feeling again.

When Osaka broke to lead 3-1 in the decider, it seemed Azarenka was destined to experience that unwanted hat-trick.

It came as a surprise when Osaka then allowed Azarenka three break points in the next game, but somehow she avoided dropping serve.

In a match of twists, there were more to come, firstly with Azarenka scoring that much-needed break back in Osaka's next service game, only to then lose her own serve.

Osaka, 5-3 up, serving for the match, just about held her nerve as Azarenka kept the pressure on.

Eventually, Azarenka netted a backhand, and Osaka shrieked in delight, touched rackets with Azarenka and lay down on the court.

She had every right to savour the moment. Champion in 2018, that night was overshadowed for many, even perhaps for Osaka, by Williams, on her way to defeat, rowing with chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

This time it was Osaka's moment and hers alone. A wide smile across her face told its own story.

Victoria Azarenka will try to take a "neutral" mentality into her US Open final showdown with Naomi Osaka after claiming she is no longer a player fuelled by ego.

The 31-year-old former world number one overcame a torrid first set to defeat Serena Williams 1-6 6-3 6-3 and book a place in the Flushing Meadows showpiece.

Williams, whose search for a record-equalling 24th grand slam goes on, beat Azarenka in each of her previous final appearances in New York in 2012 and 2013.

The Belarusian won the Australian Open in each of those years but a succession of form, fitness and personal problems have contributed to those being her most recent triumphs at the highest level.

After earning the chance to end that drought against Osaka, who Azarenka was due to face in the final of last month's Western & Southern Open before her opponent withdrew due to a hamstring strain, she told reporters it was an opportunity she would approach with humility.

"I think when you're coming up from kind of nothing, then you become a number one player in the world, sometimes you can start to think you're invincible and that you're better than everybody, and it's not true," Azarenka said.

"So the ego starts to grow. It's very hurtful when it gets damaged, so...

"Instead of getting the ego damaged, I tried to remove that and learn from my mistakes of that ego, and realising that being a tennis player doesn't make you better or worse than anybody else, that you're still human, and all you can do is try to be the best version of yourself and keep improving."

Azarenka has taken to sitting with her eyes closed during the change of ends and explained this was an exercise used to clear her mind of any thoughts during high-pressure moments.

"Absolutely nothing. That's my goal," she said.

"When s*** happens to you, you're like, oh, let's be positive, let's be positive.

"It's sometimes impossible to be positive. So being neutral, just not going into negativity is very useful. It's very simple."

Williams confirmed afterwards that she would take part in the forthcoming French Open and Azarenka admires her old rival's longevity and quest to match Margaret Court's all-time slam record.

"I think it's amazing," she added. "There's no other thoughts.

"Someone who is an amazing champion going for what she wants to do. All admiration from my side."

Two-time major champion Naomi Osaka will go into this year's US Open final with a different mindset.

Osaka won her first grand slam singles title at Flushing Meadows two years ago, overcoming Serena Williams in a match that was overshadowed by the 23-time major champion's incredible meltdown.

The Japanese followed that success up with glory at the 2019 Australian Open, but did not go beyond the fourth round of a major again until this fortnight in New York.

Osaka defeated Jennifer Brady 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-3 on Thursday and, having been the runner-up at the Western & Southern Open when tennis returned from its suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic, she feels in a better place going into her third major final.

"I feel like my mindset is much different this time around. I feel like I've learned so much through the ups and downs, not even counting the finals, but just regular tour tournaments," said Osaka after her semi-final triumph.

"I would say mentally I feel stronger. I feel fitter now. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

"I feel like the older you get, the more mentally strong you are. I think that's something that you learn from being on the tour for such a long time, playing so many matches.

"But for me, definitely my goal during these two tournaments was to be more mentally strong and to fight for every point. So that's what I'm going to go into the final with. Nothing is going to change that."

Osaka was denied a rematch with Williams in the US Open final by Victoria Azarenka, who won a semi-final against the great American 1-6 6-3 6-3.

World number 27 Azarenka is in good form having won the Western & Southern Open by walkover after Osaka withdrew from the final due to a left hamstring injury.

Osaka said of the Belarusian: "I've played her once in Roland Garros. I played her twice, but the Roland Garros one is the most recent one that I remember.

"Yeah, she seems really confident now. She's moving well. I don't know. I don't try to think about other matches right after the match that I just finished. But [it] should be tough."

Osaka believes the hard work she put in during lockdown has paid dividends since the return of professional tennis.

"You're never really sure how things will pan out. But I felt like I put in as much work as I could, and I tried as hard as I could during the quarantine to get myself ready. For me, I felt that's the only thing I could possibly to," she said.

"Yeah, I feel like my first match in [the Western & Southern Open], I was super nervous. But I was really happy with the level that I was playing. I just tried to keep building from that. Now I'm here."

Naomi Osaka returned to the US Open final for the first time since 2018 after overpowering Jennifer Brady 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-3 in an entertaining battle at Flushing Meadows.

Former world number one Osaka claimed her maiden grand slam title in New York two years ago and the fourth seed advanced to a second US Open decider on Thursday.

Osaka – a two-time major champion through to her first slam decider since clinching the 2019 Australian Open – hit 35 winners as the Japanese star awaits either Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka in the women's finale.

There was plenty of power on display between two huge hitters on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where 28th seed Brady was playing the biggest match of her life, having never progressed beyond the fourth round of a slam prior to this year's US Open.

Service games were fairly routine until Brady earned the first break-point chance of the match in the seventh game from 0-40 down, but Osaka managed to hold.

The high level of tennis continued heading into the tie-break, where Osaka zeroed in to claim the first set as a wayward Brady – playing confidently and aggressively – slipped up.

It was an almost flawless opener from Osaka, who had just four unforced errors and lost only one point when landing her first serves.

But Brady, after losing a set for the first time during this year's tournament, continued to take the match to Osaka in the second set and she was rewarded in the eighth game.

With a second break-point opportunity, Brady prevailed after a tense 18-shot rally to break serve for the first time in the match for a 5-3 lead.

While Osaka did not do much wrong, she was simply outplayed as a confident Brady levelled proceedings to force a deciding set.

But Brady was unable to maintain her level in the final set – Osaka breaking for the first time in the contest at 40-15 in the fourth game to capitalise on a lull to move 3-1 clear before consolidating and seeing out the showdown in two hours, eight minutes.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  

Osaka [4] bt Brady [28] 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   

Osaka – 35/17
Brady – 35/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   

Osaka – 9/1
Brady – 10/2

BREAK POINTS WON    

Osaka – 1/4
Brady – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   

Osaka – 57
Brady – 54

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   

Osaka – 84/58
Brady – 77/51

TOTAL POINTS   

Osaka – 98
Brady – 88

Naomi Osaka said she is trying to be in the moment as the former world number one chases a third grand slam title at the US Open.

Osaka reached the US Open semi-finals on Tuesday thanks to a 6-3 6-4 win over Shelby Rogers at Flushing Meadows in New York.

The Japanese star is back in the US Open semis for the first time since capturing her maiden major on Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2018.

It triggered a whirlwind period of success for Osaka, who went on to win the 2019 Australian Open only a couple of months later in Melbourne.

Osaka, however, had not progressed beyond the fourth round of a slam since reigning supreme at Melbourne Park last year, so the fourth seed is making the most of her run in the United States.

"I don't think a person can ever be truly comfortable," Osaka said during her news conference when asked if she is feeling as comfortable as ever at the US Open. "But for me, I'm aware that I worked very hard to be in this position. I'm aware that the opponents that I play from now on are going to be very tough.

"For me, I think the last two grand slams, everything happened so fast, I wasn't really in the moment. I'm just really happy to be in the semis, and hopefully I can keep going."

Osaka, who will meet Jennifer Brady for a spot in the women's final after hitting 24 winners and just eight unforced errors against Rogers, said: "I feel like if I'm positive, no matter how much time it will take, I'll eventually get to where I want to be.

"For me, I felt like I did well at the end of the year, I won Tokyo and Beijing. I don't know.

"I feel like there's a certain mindset that I have to get to in order to get to the goals that I want to. But it does feel like a long time since I've been to this part of a major.

"At the same time all the work that I put in makes it seem like... I don't know. It's just a journey, I would say."

Osaka is the favourite to beat 28th seed Brady behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic but she added: "I don't feel like the favourite weirdly enough. Because there's no fans, I don't feel anything. I just feel like I'm going into a match with a really talented player, which is all of my previous matches anyway.

"For me, I remember watching her. I watched her match against [Yulia] Putintseva earlier today. I know she's a big threat."

Naomi Osaka moved a step closer to a second US Open title after advancing to the semi-finals at the expense of Shelby Rogers.

Osaka – the 2018 champion and former world number one – was too good for Rogers 6-3 6-4 at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

A two-time grand slam champion, Osaka was 0-3 against Rogers heading into the quarter-final but the fourth seed finally ended her drought thanks to 24 winners and just eight unforced errors.

Osaka – who has claimed the US Open and Australian Open on the two occasions she has progressed beyond the fourth round of a slam – will face Jennifer Brady in the semi-finals.

It was an evening opening on Arthur Ashe Stadium behind closed doors, a showdown from the baseline under lights.

Osaka earned the first break-point chance in the sixth game, but Rogers caught the line with an aggressive cross-court winner to fend it off.

However, Osaka had a second chance to claim the break after Rogers sent a forehand long and another wayward shot gifted the Japanese star a 4-2 lead following a tense game.

Rogers, though, hit back immediately, smashing a ferocious winner on a second serve to reclaim the break, only for Osaka to break to love to restore her cushion with some powerful baseline hitting as she served out the set.

World number 93 Rogers – who was sidelined for 13 months in 2018 and 2019 due to a knee injury and was unranked as recently as last April – continued to play with aggression but she came unstuck in the third game, another stray forehand seeing Osaka move 2-1 ahead with the break.

Rogers tried to stay in the contest, but Osaka never looked back en route to the final four of a slam for the first time since winning the 2019 Australian Open.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  

Osaka [4] bt Rogers 6-3 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   

Osaka – 24/8
Rogers – 23/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   

Osaka – 7/1
Rogers –  3/2

BREAK POINTS WON    

Osaka – 3/5
Rogers – 1/1

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   

Osaka – 48
Rogers – 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   

Osaka – 83/69
Rogers – 66/33

TOTAL POINTS   

Osaka – 67
Rogers – 45

Former US Open champion Naomi Osaka returned to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, while Shelby Rogers prevailed in a thriller against Petra Kvitova.

Osaka reached the US Open quarters for the first time since winning the grand slam in 2018 after beating 14th seed Anett Kontaveit in straight sets on Sunday.

Rogers emerged from the brink of defeat to stun sixth seed and two-time major champion Kvitova in New York.

Jennifer Brady and Yulia Putintseva also progressed from the round of 16.

 

OSAKA ON TRACK FOR SECOND US OPEN CROWN

The Japanese star and former world number one was too good for Kontaveit 6-3 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Two-time slam champion Osaka – the fourth seed – did not face a break point as she advanced in 72 minutes.

"I thought it was pretty good," Osaka said. "If I'm reflecting on attitude, I'm pretty sure it was up there with my top matches of this short year."

ROGERS FENDS OFF MATCH POINTS

Awaiting Osaka is Rogers, who saved four match points in a memorable 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6) triumph.

Rogers fended off three match points on her serve at 4-5 in the final set and then another on Kvitova's racquet at 6-5 in the tie-break.

The American and world number 93 is now through to the quarter-finals of her home slam for the first time, albeit behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Day 72 in the bubble," Rogers told reporters. "It's been a long time here in New York. I'm happy to be sticking around for some more."

BRADY AND PUTINTSEVA TO MEET IN LAST EIGHT

American 28th seed Brady will contest her maiden grand slam quarter-finals after blitzing 2016 US Open champion and former number one Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-4.

Brady broke serve four times and hit 25 winners to upstage three-time major winner Kerber.

Having lost her first two fourth-round berths at majors – both in 2017 – Brady said: "I don't think I was really ready physically or mentally to make the fourth round of two slams in one year. Definitely came as a huge surprise to me. Honestly, I didn't really believe that I belonged at that level or that it was achievable for me.

"So to be honest, I wasn't ready mentally or physically before it. And, you know, this year, starting the beginning of the year, I felt like a different player. I'm not putting expectations on myself but also not surprised when I'm doing well at a tournament."

Next up is two-time French Open quarter-finalist Putintseva, who ousted eighth seed Petra Martic 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Naomi Osaka survived a test to reach the US Open last 16, while Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova also won on Friday.

Osaka, the 2018 champion in New York, was pushed before getting past Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk.

The top half of the women's draw is packed with seeds as Kerber and Kvitova were among those advancing at Flushing Meadows.

Petra Martic, the eighth seed, also booked her spot in the fourth round.

 

OSAKA GETS THROUGH TEST

Osaka, the fourth seed and two-time grand slam winner, battled past Kostyuk 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

The Japanese star had 30 winners and 38 unforced errors before advancing in two hours, 33 minutes.

Osaka's left leg was again heavily strapped, but the 22-year-old insisted she was feeling fine.

"I felt like I was moving well," she said. "It could be better, but I think for a three-set match, the amount of movement that I did, and the fact that I felt like I could have kept going if I really needed to is definitely a good sign."

Awaiting Osaka in the fourth round is Anett Kontaveit after the Estonian 14th seed powered past Magda Linette 6-3 6-2.

 

KERBER, KVITOVA KEEP WINNING

For the first time since winning the tournament in 2016, Kerber is into the fourth round.

The German 17th seed was too good for Ann Li 6-3 6-4 in just 76 minutes.

"I came here and I have no idea where I am, to be honest. Still, I mean, I had three good matches, also close matches. Every match was a little bit different," Kerber said.

"But now the second week and the fourth round, I mean, you know, I'm not thinking too much ahead. It's more like I have a day off tomorrow. Then I have the next match. This is more my focus.

"I'm really trying to staying here as well in the bubble, also mentally and getting ready for the next match."

Up next for Kerber is Jennifer Brady, the American 28th seed having recorded a 6-3 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia.

A two-time US Open quarter-finalist, Kvitova advanced after a 6-4 6-3 victory over Jessica Pegula on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

MARTIC CONTINUES RUN

A quarter-finalist at the French Open last year, Martic matched a career best thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win over Varvara Gracheva.

The Croatian is into the fourth round in New York for just the second time, having also achieved the feat last year.

She will meet Yulia Putintseva, who overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Top seed Karolina Pliskova crashed out of the US Open, while Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova advanced on Wednesday.

A former finalist in New York, Pliskova bowed out in the second round at Flushing Meadows.

It came on what was a mixed day for the seeds in the women's draw at the grand slam, which is being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the likes of Osaka, Kvitova and Angelique Kerber progressed without dropping a set.

 

PLISKOVA CRASHES OUT

Runner-up in 2016, Pliskova fell to Caroline Garcia 6-1 7-6 (7-2) after one hour, 33 minutes.

Garcia, who reached fourth in the world rankings in 2018, produced 30 winners and just 17 unforced errors in an impressive win.

"In the second set I had set point. That was definitely one ball I could make. I had second serve on my forehand," Pliskova said.

"Maybe I should just play rally. I tried to go for it. It was a little bit windy on the court. I think she played amazing set and a half. Of course, I got my chances later in the second set. I didn't play good, so that's it."

Garcia will next face 28th seed Jennifer Brady, who thrashed CiCi Bellis 6-1 6-2 in just 51 minutes.

 

OSAKA, KVITOVA AND KERBER MOVE THROUGH

Osaka, the 2018 champion and fourth seed, was far too strong for Camila Giorgi in a 6-1 6-2 victory.

The Japanese two-time grand slam winner capitalised on a wayward display from Giorgi, who finished with 24 unforced errors.

"Just playing Camila, I haven't played her in a while, but I know that she goes for things," Osaka said. "For me it's really helpful mentally just because I know she's capable of finishing points.

"It gives me motive to play better, so she's not able to hit winners."

Awaiting Osaka in the third round is Marta Kostyuk after the Ukrainian teenager eliminated 31st seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Kvitova, the Czech sixth seed, was tested before getting past Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Meanwhile, 17th seed Kerber beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in an all-German affair.

 

MLADENOVIC IN EPIC COLLAPSE

Kristina Mladenovic looked set for an easy passage into the third round against Russian Varvara Gracheva.

Mladenovic led 6-1 5-1 before an incredible collapse saw her beaten in three sets.

Gracheva saved four match points in the second set before claiming a 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 victory.

Mladenovic was one of seven seeds to fall on Wednesday, with Dayana Yastremska, Alison Riske, Elena Rybakina and Marketa Vondrousova joining Pliskova and Sevastova in exiting.

Former US Open champion Naomi Osaka was pushed to three sets in the opening round, while top seed Karolina Pliskova also made it through on day one.

Osaka – who was crowned queen of Flushing Meadows in 2018 – was tested by fellow Japanese player Misaki Doi under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights on Monday.

Pliskova saw off Anhelina Kalinina in the behind-closed-doors grand slam amid the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

However, American sensation Coco Gauff fell at the first hurdle.

 

OSAKA DISPATCHES DOI

Japanese star Osaka kicked off her bid to win a second US Open title with a 6-2 5-7 6-2 victory in the night session.

Osaka – the fourth seed – was challenged by Doi but the former world number one came through in two hours, two minutes.

In her first match since withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open final due to a hamstring injury, Osaka showed no ill effects – hitting 25 winners and 38 unforced errors while converting five of 11 break-point opportunities.

Next up for the 2019 Australian Open champion is Camila Giorgi, who outlasted Alison Van Uytvanck 2-6 6-1 7-5.

 

PLISKOVA OUTCLASSES KALININA

The 2016 US Open runner-up made it past the first round by beating Ukrainian Kalinina 6-4 6-0.

Pliskova was in command at 4-1 in the first set, but lost the next three games and had to fend off two break points to avoid going 5-4 down.

The world number three held and broke to love to take the first set before dominating the second in the Flushing Meadows bubble.

Pliskova will face Caroline Garcia in the second round after the 32nd seed beat Jasmine Paolini 6-3 6-2.

 

GAUFF OUSTED

For the first time in her career, American teenager Gauff lost in the first round of a grand slam following a 6-3 5-7 6-4 defeat against 31st seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Gauff reached the fourth round at this year's Australian Open, but the 16-year-old crashed out at her home major.

 

KVITOVA, KERBER PROGRESS

Sixth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova eased past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-2.

Three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber – the 17th seed – made her first appearance since January and defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-4.

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