Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka both lose in US Open first round matches
NEW YORK – While Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys both lost in their first round matches Wednesday, the pair of tennis veterans still managed to do a lot of damage at the US Open.
“It had to happen,” Osaka said. “Both of us were on such different levels. I just had no answer. I felt I just kept chasing her, and she was pretty determined and pretty relentless.”
The 17-year-old Osaka, ranked No. 1 in the world at the time, was the No. 4 seed at the US Open, and she had upset No. 15 seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals just seven days earlier.
“She plays the best tennis,” Osaka said. “She’s so aggressive and she plays such good tennis. It’s really not about having it or not having it at the moment. She’s just so much better than me!”
“I never had the belief that she can be a top player,” Keys said. “She’s just so much better than me.”
Osaka’s defeat left the No. 1-ranked Osaka, a former world No. 1, at No. 5. She has lost three consecutive Premier-level singles matches.
“She’s one of the best up until that point. She’s definitely the best,” Keys said. “But I think Madison and I can compete with her pretty much on any given day.”
Osaka, who has been the No. 1-ranked woman for the last three months, has two career singles victories and two career WTA championships.
“It was one of those things where the tournament was not on my level,” Osaka said. “I could not take the momentum from my own performance in my first match, and unfortunately it was taken away from me.”
Keys, who has won all three of her singles matches in New York, defeated former No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki and then came back to defeat the No. 3 seed, Serena Williams