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US Open: Defending champ Angelique Kerber upset by Naomi Osaka

30 August 2017

Osaka also converted four break points and won 63.2 percent of Kerber's second serves-again, a sign of her dominance.

The German was still ranked No. 1 in the world as recently as July, but will slip significantly from her current ranking of sixth after the U.S. Open is completed, having become only the second defending women's champion to lose in round one.

"She's a very aggressive player, but I knew this before".

"But I believe if I play good tennis, I have a good chance to stay there".

Also in action are 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who meets Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, and French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko, up against Lara Arruabarrena of Spain.

Yet, Osaka felt nervous against Kerber in the 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, having lost to American Madison Keys in the third round of the U.S. Open a year ago after leading 5-1 in the third set.

The Japanese-American is a fearless ball-striker and Kerber had no answer, netting a final forehand to succumb meekly after just 65 minutes.

It was Osaka's first victory over a top-10 opponent after she was oh-so-close to beating a top player here past year, blowing a 5-1 lead in the third set and losing to Madison Keys in the third round. "I did that today and so I want to carry that into the next match", added the Japanese teenager, who secured her first career win over a top-10 player. "When it was 4-1, I was walking here thinking, 'I really hope I don't do what I did here previous year'". "But at the end, I know that I'm strong and I know that I will come back stronger, for sure". I know that I will not give up like this.

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The second raced by in even more impressive fashion, as the 19-year-old cranked up her winners to 22 compared with just nine to Kerber.

"This court hasn't really been a fond memory, but now I hope I overlap that", Osaka said in a television interview after.

"So the site feels really familiar to me". I just tried to focus on what I could do to win the match.

Osaka lost to Madison Keys previous year but had led 5-1 in the final set before her nerve failed.

The Czech defeated Poland's Magda Linette 6-2 6-1, and was relieved to safely negotiate the first hurdle. It was a little bit hard, but I think I made it pretty okay today.

The madness continued on Tuesday, August 29, when defending champion Angelique Kerber lost to one of the future stars of the WTA tour.

"It was a little bit hard, but I think I made it pretty okay today".

The game could be better.

US Open: Defending champ Angelique Kerber upset by Naomi Osaka