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Defending champion Kerber stunned by Japan's Osaka

Defending champion Kerber stunned by Japan's Osakaā€¯

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

Sixth seed Kerber was defeated 6-3, 6-1 by Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka, becoming the first defending champion in NY to exit in the opening round since Svetlana Kuznetsova suffered a similar fate in 2005. This time, she would not make the same mistake, in a devastating display of aggressive baseline tennis.

"She just goes for it", added Kerber.

Talk about an understatement.

Her follow-up has been quite a flop.

"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". But I know that I'm strong and I know that I will come back stronger, for sure.

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 past year after leading 5-1 in the third set.

Showers showed up before noon Tuesday and led to the postponements of dozens of matches. Yet another seeded woman was eliminated when No. 28 Lesia Tsurenko lost to Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-1.

The Ashe programme Tuesday was being completed by United States 15th seed Madison Keys facing Elie Mertens of Belgium.

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The Czech defeated Poland's Magda Linette 6-2 6-1, and was relieved to safely negotiate the first hurdle.

A 19-year-old with a Japanese mother and Haitian father, Osaka trains in Florida.

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

She carried her momentum into the second set by breaking Kerber in the first game.

Osaka is comfortable around the grounds at Flushing Meadows, where she has been spending time, and even occasionally practicing, since she was a kid: She was born in Osaka, Japan, so represents that country, but moved to the USA when she was 3, has dual citizenship, and used to live on Long Island. "I think she took the chances and she played a very good match".

World number one Karolina Pliskova, bidding to back up her lofty status with a maiden first Grand Slam title, made a winning start at a soggy US Open on Tuesday as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer waited to begin their campaigns.

This time, Osaka held steady, using her powerful baseline game to bully Kerber.

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.



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