Naomi Osaka survives scare to reach US Open fourth round
Title favourite Naomi Osaka survived a scare against Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk to reach the fourth round of the US Open.
The third seed had to save five break points to avoid going 3-1 down in the decider before pulling away to win 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-2.
Osaka once again wore heavy strapping on the left hamstring she injured last week while her mask bore the name of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man who was shot dead while out running in February.
Osaka has masks with different names on for all seven rounds, and she showed just how much she wants to repeat her triumph of two years ago.
Kostyuk reached the third round of the Australian Open in 2018 aged just 15 but this was her first big moment in the limelight since and she certainly rose to the occasion.
Having faced pressure in most of her service games, the now 18-year-old made Osaka pay for missed chances by taking the second set on a tie-break and, had she converted on any of the break points at 2-1 in the third, the result may well have been different.
Speaking on court, Osaka said: “She was very good. I’m kind of scared of how good she’s going to be in the future.”
Fellow former champion Angelique Kerber is also through to the last 16 after a 6-3 6-4 victory over Ann Li, and a fascinating contest awaits against in-form American Jennifer Brady, who knocked out Karolina Pliskova’s conqueror Caroline Garcia.
Ons Jabeur’s ‘season is just starting now’ after injury woes
Ons Jabeur ready to go again.
WTA accused of ignoring request for meeting with Ukrainian players – ‘Just silence’
Ukrainian players want to meet with the WTA board.
Frances Tiafoe calls on rigid tennis to get with the times in order ‘to bring younger fans to the game’
Do you think tennis fans should be able to come and go and speak during matches?
Former world No 1 assesses Carlos Alcaraz’s chances of winning 2023 French Open
Can Carlos Alcaraz beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros?
Marcelo Rios not a fan of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as they are not ‘entertaining,’ describes tennis as ‘boring’
Marcelo Rios feels Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are “not entertaining” on the court.
Carlos Alcaraz described as the ‘Mike Tyson of tennis’ due to ‘brutal power and speed’
Carlos Alcaraz 🤝 Mike Tyson.
Victoria Azarenka rebuffs claims of tension in locker room, fires back at Iga Swiatek over Ukraine comments
Victoria Azarenka has hit back at Iga Swiatek over her comments.
Stefanos Tsitsipas believes in the message of ubuntu
Stefanos Tsitsipas believes in the message of ubuntu.
Andy Murray disappointed with his level after early exit on quicker Miami court
Murray was beaten in two sets by world number 76 Dusan Lajovic.
Rafael Nadal ‘confirmed’ for Monte Carlo Masters
Rafael Nadal looks set for a tilt as his 12th Monte Carlo Masters title.