Japan’s Naomi Osaka confirmed no indicators of discomfort from the injury that compelled her to leave out a last on Saturday however the former U.S. Open champion needed to dig deep to overcome compatriot Misaki Doi 6-2 5-7 6-2 in her opener at Flushing Meadows. A left hamstring injury had compelled Osaka to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open ultimate in opposition to Victoria Azarenka however the fourth seed’s motion didn’t appear to be affected in opposition to Doi on Monday.
The previous week noticed Osaka, 22, emerge as tennis’ torchbearer in protests in opposition to racial injustice and he or she walked out to the courtroom dressed in a masks that includes the identify of Breonna Taylor, a Black girl killed by way of cops who burst into her condo in March.
“Actually, so I have seven (masks),” stated Osaka.
“It’s quite sad that seven masks aren’t enough for all the names. Hopefully I’ll get to the final so you can see all of them.”
Osaka first of all pulled out of her semi-finals on the Western & Southern Open on Thursday to protest the police taking pictures of Jacob Blake, a Black guy in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
She reversed her choice after tennis governing our bodies suspended the match to enroll in the protests.
With no spectators allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center because of COVID-19 well being and protection protocols, massive sections of seating in the Arthur Ashe Stadium courtroom had been coated with ‘Black Lives Matter’ banners.
Osaka, the 2018 champion, began strongly in the outlet set as she broke Doi’s serve two times with out going through a unmarried breakpoint.
But she struggled together with her serve in the second one and her unforced mistakes fixed because the 81st-ranked Doi, who misplaced to Osaka in their handiest earlier assembly in 2016, levelled the fit with a 2d spoil.
Normal provider was once resumed in the decider, alternatively, as Osaka broke her Fed Cup crew mate early ahead of sealing the win with a 2d spoil.
“It was very difficult and I kind of expected it because first-round nerves and also she’s a tough opponent so I knew there was a chance it would get really long,” Osaka stated in a courtside interview.
“I felt like it could have been better (with my serve) but it did what it needed to do on the very important points so I can’t be that mad. I definitely need to practise some more.”
Next up for Osaka, who was once born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mom and moved to the United States when she was once 3, can be Italian Camila Giorgi, who previous beat Alison van Uytvanck 2-6 6-1 7-5.
“She’s very unpredictable for me so I guess I’m going to have to be on my toes,” Osaka stated.