Naomi Osaka’s defense of her US Open women’s singles title came to an end Monday with a loss to Belinda Bencic.
Osaka lost in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York, and Bencic said after the match that she had to play her best tennis to advance into Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
“I was so excited to come on the court,” Bencic said, according to The New York Times.
“I think the challenge cannot be bigger: against Naomi, a great player and who obviously won the US Open last year. I had to be on the top of my game. I’m very pleased with how I played and how I managed my nerves in the end.
“She has a lot of power, I was just trying to play it a little bit like chess, anticipate, and make a tactic on the court.”
It was Bencic’s third win of the year over Osaka, who recently attracted headlines for the way she defeated the 15-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff on Saturday.
But the defeat to Bencic brings an end to her reign as champion, as the 22-year-old Swiss player now advances into Wednesday’s quarterfinal, where she is set to face Donna Vekic, 23.
Osaka’s elimination means there is now only one Grand Slam winner remaining in the women’s singles bracket, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams playing Wang Qiang at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.
At No. 8, Williams, last year’s runner-up, is the second-highest seed behind only the fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who is set to play the British No. 1, Johanna Konta, also on Tuesday.
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