Naomi Osaka overcame her nerves and won the match against Czech’s Marie Bouzkova 6-4 6-1. The world number three, Osaka will be competing in the second round t proceed to defend her US Open title in front of a roaring capacity crowd.
The 23-year-old Japanese star is on the way to become the second-ever woman to defend her US Open champion title since Serena Williams. As far as, Williams is concerned, she is out this year with a torn hamstring.
Osaka has had a lot of wins, which include her win at the US and Australian Open wins and a first-round win at this year’s French Open before withdrawing over mental health issues.
Osaka, who lit the cauldron at the Tokyo Olympics, gave an Olympic pin to a young girl in the same venue where she won last year’s title when fans were banned due to COVID-19.
“It feels kind of crazy to play in front of everyone again,” said Osaka. “Last year when we didn’t have a crowd I know it felt quite lonely for me.”
Osaka saved a breakpoint in the ninth game on a service winner and captured the first set by breaking Bouzkova in the 10th game when the Czech netted a backhand.
In the second set, Osaka broke for a 2-0 lead, then saved three break points with winners and held in an eight-minute third game on the way to victory in 93 minutes.
“I think it might be the court where I’ve played the most matches in my career,” said Osaka. “I’m just glad I won.”
Coco Gauff survived a scare before going past Magda Linette with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory at the US Open on Monday. The World No. 21 seed will next face fellow American Sloane Stephens in the second round encounter on Wednesday. In the first meeting between the two, Gauff needed two hours and 34 minutes to fend off the challenge from the 48th- ranked Linette. Although the 17-year-old Gauff lost the first set she came back strong to win the remaining two sets and prevail over the Polish player.
“The crowd, playing in front of the New York fans, definitely is an experience that I’ll never forget. Every time I go out there, I’m just reminded how much I love playing in front of the crowd,” Gauff said after the match.