Osaka's US Open defence in doubt after knee injury

19 Août, 2019, 22:11 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Australia's Ashleigh Barty rallied to beat Greece's Maria Sakkari on Friday to reach the WTA Cincinnati Masters semi-finals

Naomi Osaka felt a odd sensation in her left knee, different than anything she'd experienced.

It's been that kind of week in Cincinnati, with top players in both brackets either struggling or hurt heading into the U.S. Open.

The Australian could seize Kuznetsova's opening service and later consolidated her serve, but the revived champion of tennis, the wildcard entrant, Kuznetsova cruised to take the control of the set. She expected to get an MRI. She was playing well.

The shutdown triumph by the 34-year-old double Grand Slam victor leaves injured Osaka atop the rankings with the US Open starting a week from Monday.

"Last year I won the US Open and this year I'm trying to play the US Open", said Osaka, who secured a second grand slam title at the Australian Open in January.

The problem came out of the blue.

But it's clear from Osaka's comments that she desperately wants to take part in the upcoming tournament in the United States.

Osaka had required treatment to a knee injury and finally retired after being broken early in the third set. She played only two more points before retiring, sending Kenin into the semifinals for the second straight week. "I'm not really an analyzing person, but somehow, like, on my intuition, I'm doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes".

If Barty can win her semi-final against Svetlana Kuznetsova, she'll overtake Naomi Osaka in the rankings.

Osaka's retirement sent Kenin through to face fellow American Madison Keys in Saturday's semi-final.

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Ashleigh Barty of Australia returns a shot to Maria Sakkari of Greece at Lindner Family Tennis Center on 16 August 2019 in Mason, Ohio.

"A week that we battled through", Barty said. "I don't even really think about winning the tournament".

"I'm still aiming to obviously do very well here, but the big picture is NY in 10 days' time".

"I'm in the semis for the first time here", she said.

The ranking might be on the line for Barty, but she is happy to set that aside and focus on going as far as possible in Cincinnati. She fought off a match point during a three-set win over Anett Kontaveit on Thursday, showing poise that she'd need to draw upon again a day later.

"There is certainly no panic, where it gets to the stage where I'm kind of overwrought or can't think straight", she said.

The Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova is through to the first semi-final since Washington previous year, ousting the 3rd seed Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes, overcoming a 6-3, 5-3 deficit to survive and pass the tough obstacle.

Kuznetsova is playing only her ninth event after missing the start of the season because of a knee injury.

Men's top seed Novak Djokovic also had the trainer on during his 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 victory over Lucas Pouille, but hoped discomfort in his right elbow wouldn't linger.

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