A staffer, from left, calls for help after Daria Saville of Australia fell down during a singles match against Naomi Osaka of Japan in the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, on Tuesday. Photo: AP/Hiro Komae
tennis

Osaka wins first match after Saville retires with injury

11 Comments

Naomi Osaka, playing her first match since the U.S. Open, advanced to the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open when Australia's Daria Saville retired with a knee injury in the second game of their evening encounter on Tuesday.

The unseeded Osaka is the defending champion having won in her birthplace Osaka in 2019 before COVID-19 shut down the tournament for two years.

“I feel really bad right now because of how it ended,” the Japanese player told the fans at Ariake Coliseum. “I’ve been injured for most of the year so I just want people to clap for her because she’s a really amazing player.”

Osaka, who was 1-0 up when Saville withdrew, had lost the first match in her previous three tournaments, including the U.S. Open last month, although she reached the final of the Miami Open in April.

In other games, sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova cruised past hard-hitting Bulgarian Isabella Shinikova 6-2, 6-1, Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez overcame 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, fifth-seeded Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Japan’s Yuki Naito 6-4, 6-2, and China’s Zhang Shuai beat Japanese wild card Mai Hontama 6-0, 6-3.

All matches were played under a closed roof as the tail end of Typhoon Nanmadol passed through Tokyo.

Former world number one Pliskova, the champion in Tokyo four years ago, had little trouble against 214th-ranked Shinikova. The Czech player dominated her Bulgarian opponent, who had to qualify to make it into the main draw, and said she was back on form after being injured at the start of the year.

“I missed the beginning of the season because I broke my arm, so I had a slower start to the season, but I feel like in the summer in America I was playing really good matches,” Pliskova said. “I reached the quarterfinals in the U.S. Open...so I think I’m in good shape.”

Kenin, 23, has seen her ranking plummet to 315 from a career high of 4. She has failed to win her first match in 10 of the 12 tournaments she has played in 2022 after coming off a year plagued by injuries. While her topspin forehand still had some magic, she didn’t look match fit and the hard-serving Contreras Gomez, 24, only needed consistency to gain the upper hand.

Contreras Gomez slammed down nine aces in her victory, which earned a second-round clash with fourth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova.

World No. 180 Hontama, who reached the second round at Wimbledon this year, gave the home fans hope in the second set as she matched world No.28 Shuai before tiring in the final three games.

Shuai, who won in Lyon earlier this year and reached the last 16 at the U.S. Open, will face second- seeded Caroline Garcia next.

In the penultimate match of the day, fifth-seeded Haddad Maia brushed past Naito and next faces Osaka.

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©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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Yep, she can only win by default.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Get well soon, Daria. Nice to see Naomi showing concern for her friend.

Yep, she can only win by default.

Are you guys gonna continue your hatred and negativity forever? Let it go.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Slayer

Today 07:50 am JST

Yep, she can only win by default

Her four Grand Slam titles tells me you don't know what you are posting about.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Fighto!Today  08:27 am JST

Get well soon, Daria. Nice to see Naomi showing concern for her friend.

Yep, she can only win by default.

Are you guys gonna continue your hatred and negativity forever? Let it go.

Your opinion doesn't carry more weight than others' opinions. You should let it go and let people express themselves about a public figure who has more than warranted negativity with her poor performances and erratic behavior.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This message is to inform you that your post has been removed for breaking one of the rules of the discussion board.

Reason of removal: Impolite to other user

Fighto!Today  08:27 am JST

Are you guys gonna continue your hatred and negativity forever? Let it go.

They are just attention-seeking and in the process making themselves look extremely foolish.

So, accusing others of hatred and negativity is not impolite but accusing others of attention-seeking and making themselves look foolish is impolite?

The workings of your mind are beyond my understanding. Seems that application of the moderation policy is random at best.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

And I neither used the words misogyny or racist. But since you opened the door to that with your Freudian slip, I’ll bite.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

NemoToday  03:19 pm JST

If there were someone here with valid points and not an ignorant misogynistic racist, I’d like to hear from them.

But alas, just you.

NemoToday  03:21 pm JST

And I neither used the words misogyny or racist. But since you opened the door to that with your Freudian slip, I’ll bite.

Nothing I wrote was offensive. I simply stated that people are entitled to their opinion of Osaka; good or bad. I also clearly stated that based on poor performances and erratic behavior, negativity is warranted as she's a public figure. You don't understand the meaning of a Freudian slip as it was you yourself that introduced misogyny into the discussion not me. Trying to sound erudite isn't working for you. It usually doesn't with children. You've bitten off more than what your brain can process.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Crap way to lose, and crap way to win now that I think about it. But at this point in her career I think Osaka will take and run with it. Hope the Aussie player gets well soon and they can have a REAL match up to the end.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There are a whole mess of people who want to point out and complain about, for reasons that pass understanding, every professional or emotional slip Naomi has ever made since her arrival on the scene.

All she has ever done is to display the highest amount of sportsmanship in victory or defeat. All while winning 4 majors.

For some, she’s not Japanese enough, her skin is too dark, her language skills too basic.

For others it’s the shut up and play thing that Lebron encountered. And for a whole lot of nay-sayers, it was that she was a woman who spoke out on what she believed in. This really got under their tissue-thin skins.

But call them out it the sphincters tighten and chests puff.

Doesn’t make it any less true.

And Miles, I don’t need to sound erudite. I am erudite.

The fact that you can handle neither moderately advanced lexicon nor a bit of criticism says more about you than it does me.

I cannot help but notice it’s an opinion that is not unique to myself.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Naomi Osaka has achieved more than all the other Japanese tennis players, female AND male, combined. You can hate but you can't take that away. I was watching her when 99.999% of the population knew nothing about her and if she never wins again, I'll still keep watching. Unlike most, I'm not a fairweather fan nor a hater.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

NemoToday  06:50 pm JST

There are a whole mess of people who want to point out and complain about, for reasons that pass understanding, every professional or emotional slip Naomi has ever made since her arrival on the scene.

All she has ever done is to display the highest amount of sportsmanship in victory or defeat. All while winning 4 majors.

For some, she’s not Japanese enough, her skin is too dark, her language skills too basic.

For others it’s the shut up and play thing that Lebron encountered. And for a whole lot of nay-sayers, it was that she was a woman who spoke out on what she believed in. This really got under their tissue-thin skins.

But call them out it the sphincters tighten and chests puff.

Doesn’t make it any less true.

What you wrote doesn't make sense.

Nobody said anything about her nationality, gender, skin color, or language skills. You did.

I said based on her poor performances and erratic behavior, she's open to criticism and people should be able to do so. The rest is irrelevant and wasn't the point.

And Miles, I don’t need to sound erudite. I am erudite.

You're clearly not. Not if you have to say you are. Certainly not if you're demanding that people only express only one opinion that suits you on a message board. That's censorship.

The fact that you can handle neither moderately advanced lexicon nor a bit of criticism says more about you than it does me.

I cannot help but notice it’s an opinion that is not unique to myself.

Yes I can handle it. What's your point? What you wrote doesn't make sense. Are you really erudite? That you think I care what people think of me on an internet message board says more about you than me.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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