US Open: Osaka continues to make a statement, on and off the court

Naomi Osaka scored an impressive 6-1, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi

Naomi Osaka

Former champion Naomi Osaka continued to make a statement on an off the court during her impressive 6-1, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.lo

The 4th seed walked out on court wearing a mask dedicated to Elijah McClain for her second match of the tournament. Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is Haitian, has said that she will be wearing a different face mask for each of her matches, each carrying the name of an African-American who was a victim of police brutality.

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Before her opening match, Osaka had worn a mask in tribute of Breonna Taylor and said she wanted to raise awareness about racial injustice.

After her match against Giorgi, which lasted an hour and 10 minutes, the 2018 champion said that she was doing her bit for social causes she was completely focused on her tennis and doing well at the Open.

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“It’s just whenever I step on the court I don’t think about anything but the match,” said the 22-year-old.

“Any off-court things, of course it’s a great motivation for me to want to do well this tournament, but for the most part I feel like I’ve been in quarantine and practicing so long that I prefer to play matches. I just think about what I could do to make myself a better player, what I can do to win the match at the time.”

Top seed Pliskova falls

Meanwhile, France’s Caroline Garcia upset top seed Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (2) in the second round.

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With six of the women’s top 10 not competing at the US Open, the draw was already wide open. And Garcia blew open the top half further by blasting past Pliskova with power and precision.

The Czech player has been struggling for form since returning to the tour last month. Pliskova was knocked out in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters as well and it was another early exit for the 2016 US Open finalist.

Next Gen moves on

ATP’s Next Gen players Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov moved into the third round of the Slam.

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While 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas scored a 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-4 win over USA’a Maxime Cressy, Shapovalov and Zverev both needed four sets to get through.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded 12th, surrendered the opening set against Kwon Soon-woo before blasting past the South Korean 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

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Zverev, whose serve was unbroken in the match, smashed 24 aces past American teenager Brandon Nakashima during a 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1 win.

Important results:

Men’s second round
1-Novak Djokovic d Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
5-Alexander Zverev d Brandon Nakashima 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1
4-Stefanos Tsitsipas d Maxime Cressy 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-4
12-Denis Shapovalov d Kwon Soon-woo 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
32-Adrian Mannarino d Jack Sock 7-6 (5), 7-5, 6-2
19-Taylor Fritz d Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-3, 6-2

Women’s second round
3-Petra Kvitova d Kateryna Kozlova 7-6(3), 6-2
4-Naomi Osaka d Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-2
17-Angelique Kerber d Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3, 7-6(6)
Caroline Garcia d 1-Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (2)
8-Petra Martic d Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4