US Open counts second big upset with Naomi Osaka bouncing Angelique Kerber

Naomi Osaka

Kerber then took the same court where she beat Pliskova for the title previous year and took another stinging defeat in what's been a season-long slump since winning her second Grand Slam title.

With torrential rain drenching the outside courts - allowing just three women's matches to finish by mid-afternoon - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at least had the comfort of knowing that they would begin under the roof.

Not that it was as plain sailing as the score suggested.

The Czech hit 28 winners and converted on five break points while saving nine of the 10 she faced to advance in one hour and 18 minutes.

"But I tried not to think how good she was while I was playing her".

Plishkova will next face Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg or American qualifier Nicole Gibbs.

However in contrast to Pliskova's upward trajectory since last September, Kerber's fortunes had been far more uncertain. Who will win the US Open titles this year?


But perhaps it wasn't too surprising after Kerber played so poorly following her breakthrough 2016, when she also won the Australian Open and lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final before ascending to No. 1 with her victory here. She had been in the top 10 since October 5, 2015, a run that will total 101 weeks before she falls out.

The young woman from Japan made a real mark here previous year with a third-round run that took out No30 seed Coco Vandeweghe.

After the match, Osaka gave an understated fist-bump and a wide smile as she walked to the net. This time, she would not make the same mistake, in a devastating display of aggressive baseline tennis.

The sixth-seeded German is out of the tournament and on her way out of the top 10 after being beaten by Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in one of the only completed matches on a rainy Tuesday. The next game, Kerber clinched two break points but Osaka hit a backhand victor and a forehand down the line to save both. She broke in the first game, fought off a break point in the second, and broke again for a 4-1 lead with a blistering forehand victor and then a backhand in the same mould.

"I think because it's a new situation", said the 29-year-old when asked why it was so hard for her to cement her place on top of the rankings. She broke for 5-3 in the opening set and never looked back to claim her first victory against a top-10 player.

"When it was 4-1 today I was thinking, "I really hope I don't do what I did last year" and that let me focus a lot".

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