Naomi Osaka identifies reason for disappointing US Open first round loss

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka admitted she felt she played “a bit too defensively” versus Danielle Collins during her US Open first round match. Osaka, who captured her first Grand Slam title at 2018 US Open, exited this year’s tournament in the first round after Collins handed her a 7-6 (5) 6-3 loss.

After yet another early tournament exit, Osaka acknowledged that this year hasn’t been really great for her. “I mean, I kind of thought that I played a bit too defensively,” Osaka said after the loss. “I didn’t really trust my forehand that much, and I think that maybe you could see that a little bit.

I also felt like I was on my back foot a lot. So, yeah, overall I wouldn’t say that I played very well, but I tried the hardest with what I could do. I feel like I lost in the first round of France, too, so, This year hasn’t really been a great year.

I mean, it was pretty hard for me. I think it was just special to play on Ashe. I think a lot of players would die for that opportunity. For the tournament to let me still play on that even though I’m unseeded, I’m very thankful.

Osaka loses a fourth match in a row

Osaka actually got off to a good start to the match, opening an early 3-0 lead. But Collins broke back in the fifth game, and as no more breaks were seen in the first set, the opened had to be resolved in a tie-break.

In the tie-break, Collins opened a 6-4 lead, before converting her second set point to win a tight opener. After losing the first set, Osaka earned the first break of the second set in the third game for a 2-1 lead. But Collins responded with breaks in the fourth and eighth games to complete a two-set win. For Osaka, it was her fourth consecutive defeat and a third consecutive first round exit.

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