(CNN) — Despite the up-and-down performance, Naomi Osaka’s US Open title defense is underway in New York.
The world No. 1 in Japan defeated No. 84 Anna Blinkova of Russia 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 on Tuesday in her return to Arthur Ashe Stadium, the scene with her first key title. But it was easy.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous in my entire life,” Osaka said to ESPN on court after the win.
Osaka got off to a slow start, trailing by an early break in the opening set. Before closing out the first pair — but the champion responded in a row — the second of that bringing out a smile from the 21-year-old.
The roller coaster continued with Osaka saving three set points to make it 5-5. In the match, she moved on to split Blinkova at adore. Serving for the match at 6-5, nonetheless, was not so simple, using Blinkova saving a match point and forcing the tiebreak. On her fifth place stage, Blinkova came to force a decider.
After all that work, Osaka had no difficulty shutting the set. She finished in a game that lasted two hours , 28 minutes to 50 unforced errors with 43 champions.
“I only came off quite slow, and I never really found my rhythm,” Osaka said to ESPN. “But I think I only fought as hard as I can, and I was able to win”
On asked why she was worried, Osaka replied she”just definitely did not want to lose at the first round.”
“You sort of want to perform well when you did last year,” Osaka mentioned to the audience. “For me personally, I’m just — I don’t know. I truly like you guys, so that I wanted to stay here more.”
Osaka is currently looking to become first woman because Serena Williams won three in a row in 2012 to 2014 to defend a US Open title. She will have to defend her name to maintain the No. 1 ranking. Osaka’s next competition will be the Magda Linette, who won her first career WTA title over the weekend at the NYJTL Bronx Open of Poland.
In January when she won the Australian Open, Osaka became the very first girl to win her second consecutive major after winning her first because Jennifer Capriati did so in 2001 (Australian Open followed by the French Open). But after hoisting the trophy in Melbourne, Osaka has been Somewhat uneven from the courts, dropping in the round of the French Open and in the very first round at Wimbledon.
There has also been recent injury. Earlier this month at the Western & Southern Open in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio, Osaka has been forced to retire at her match against American Sofia Kenin because of a knee injury. Tuesday osaka wore a knee brace in her game.
Osaka is again back on her surface, while she might not have been on Tuesday. She has reached two quarterfinals this summer at Toronto and Cincinnati, and all three of her career singles titles are won on hard courts, with also won Indian Wells at 2018.
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