Reigning champ Osaka heads to New York striving for form, fitness and fun

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By jack tarrant

TOKYO (Reuters) – It's been 12 months on a curler coaster for Japan's Naomi Osaka since her dramatic victory over Serena Williams within the US Open closing final 12 months.

After securing his first inaugural Grand Slam in a closing that may all the time be remembered for Serena Williams' extraordinary battle with the referee, Osaka grew to become the primary Japanese to say the primary world rating when she captured her second hit in January on the Open from Australia.

The rising star has develop into the second highest paid feminine athlete on the planet, behind Williams, behind a sequence of profitable sponsorship agreements.

However with the world of tennis at his toes, the 21-year-old had hassle kicking.

Just a few troublesome months noticed her fail to win a match, lose her primary rating and crash into Wimbledon within the first spherical.

She talked about her social media issues earlier this month, and described the final months as "the worst of my life."

"I can actually replicate and say that I most likely haven't had enjoyable enjoying tennis from Australia and I'm lastly coming to phrases with that whereas I study that enjoyable feeling once more," Osaka wrote.

Earlier than his protection of the US Open. Within the US, Osaka additionally suffered an damage, a knee drawback that pressured her to retire within the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters final week.

Osaka insists he’ll defend his title and says he would most likely play in New York even towards his physician's needs. [M1L8N25C4H3].

Osaka, who modified coach in February, has recovered the primary rating and shall be a match for anybody on the US Open if he’s in the appropriate bodily and psychological kind.

A key problem for the Japanese shall be to cope with the inevitable questions concerning the finish of final 12 months, which left Osaka crying in the course of the presentation ceremony.

A lot of the criticism of Williams centered on how his actions had spoiled a treasured second for Osaka, who was even moved to apologize for beating the home favourite.

Since then, Williams apologized to Osaka, however that doesn’t imply he’ll take it straightforward on the Japanese if their paths cross once more in New York.

Of their first assembly since that notorious closing, Williams had little hassle getting a straight set victory over Osaka within the semifinals of the Rodgers Cup in Toronto earlier this month.

(Version by Peter Rutherfordpeter.rutherford@thomsonreuters.com; +822 6936 1482)



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