Osaka upsets Kerber, Federer survives Tiafoe’s threat

Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Germany’s Angelique Kerber during their 2017 US Open Women’s Singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 29, 2107. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP

As many third day matches were yet to be played, the National Tennis Centre reeled with the late night shocks in which Naomi Osaka of Japan achieved another major upset by defeating the defending champion from Germany, Angelique Kerber 63; 6-1. In the men’s draw, reigning Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer outlasted a determined Frances Tiafoe in a five-set thriller in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The unseeded player from Japan had but one game plan; to hit hard against the famed retriever from Germany. In the first set, games went with serve until Osaka broke Kerber’s serve in the eighth game to lead 5-3. Serving for the set, she faced two break points, but survived several long rallies and closed out the game when Kerber netted a forehand.

Kerber won her serve in the second game of the second set; giving hope for resurgence that did not happen. After long rallies, Kerber’s defensive shots landed short for the Japanese to put away. It was a one-way affair that ended 6-1 for a victory that erased lingering memories of Osaka’s loss to Madison Keys a year ago when she could not close out the match after leading 5-1 in the third set.

Osaka utilized her (1,8m) height in an unrelenting power game reminiscent of French Open Champion, Jelena Ostapenko. Although neither player delivered an ace serve, Kerber made five double faults to Osaka’s sole miss.

In a disappointing performance, the sixth-seeded player made 23 unforced errors to Osaka’s 17. Osaka hit 22 outright winners to Kerber’s nine. By the end of the match, Osaka had 60 total points to her opponent’s 41.

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