Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Defending champion Naomi Osaka falls to Belinda Bencic at US Open

Defending champion Naomi Osaka falls to Belinda Bencic at US Open

Osaka, the reigning US Open champion, was all class as she consoled her young opponent. The knee also prevented her from covering the court and preparing for shots the way she'd like.

No. 6 Alexander Zverev and No. 28 Nick Kyrgios were also on the schedule, trying to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time in what's been an upset-filled men's tournament. Belinda Bencic's clean, crisp strokes, struck with the ball still on the rise, contributed plenty to the outcome, too.

The result under the closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium on a rainy Monday means both defending champions and No. 1 seeds are gone before the quarterfinals at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. "I think that's what she did tonight". I felt like I was always flat-footed. "I want her to be aware that she's accomplished so much, and she's still so young", Osaka told ESPN later on.

"I am sorry for playing you in this mentality".

The top seed raced to a 6-3, 6-0 victory to knock-out the American 15-year-old who has taken the tennis world by storm.

"I don't have the biggest power".

"I think the one that I can most compare her game to would probably be Kim Clijsters, back in the day". "I definitely am interested to watch". She made only 12 unforced errors in the entire match, while producing 29 winners. Bencic beat No.1 seed Naomi Osaka in the 4th round today. "Coco, you're wonderful", Osaka said.

Since then, she has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon backed to be the future of women's tennis.

"I have been through a great deal with injuries and have taken everything I have learned from the last few years and introduced it into this season".

"After the match, I think she just proved that she's a true athlete". That's not how tennis goes.

"I'm just saying. She shouldn't be as good as Osaka yet at 15". "I think it made me a stronger person, better player".

"With Melanie, we didn't try to copy Martina's game. I had to be on top of my game". I try to play it a little bit like chess.

"I was just happy throughout this entire match", she continued.

Osaka's advantages in age and accomplishments - she is a two-time major champion, including at the Australian Open in January - played a role.

But Gauff faces her toughest test yet against world No 1 Osaka for a place in the fourth round. Gauff praised Osaka for being embodying the flawless balance between competitive and amicable that makes the game enjoyable: "After the match, I think she just proved that she's a true athlete", Gauff said. "I'll learn a lot from this match".

Gauff, in only her sixth Grand Slam match, then fired back-to-back aces to finally get on the board and from there the two exchanged breaks over the next four games before Osaka recovered from 0-30 to serve out the set.

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