Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka both lose in US Open first round
The tournament started in chilly conditions, with the forecast for Friday of rain, but warm, sunny skies for Saturday.
However, by the time Friday’s competition began in Newport, R.I., temperatures climbed into the 40s and the forecast called for thunderstorms for Saturday afternoon.
“I don’t know about Friday, but here’s the forecast,” tournament director Ken Adams said. “For Saturday, it’s just rain and sunshine, and it looks like just rain.”
As the sun set over the Newport course on Friday, Naomi Osaka battled out her first-round match against the tournament’s No. 1 player, Simona Halep.
“It’s been a wonderful journey,” Osaka said of her career before the start of the U.S. Open. “In the sport of tennis… you always know there’s a little bit of chance to win a title. But not like this. This is different than everything.”
Osaka, 23, had not gone up against anyone ranked higher than No. 13 when she reached the second round. At the time, the only other player who held that distinction, Maria Sharapova, was ranked No. 16.
When Osaka made it to the second round of a Grand Slam, many considered it a sign of the world’s young star rising up the ranks.
But it was also a sign Osaka might not be around in time to defend her title at the 2020 U.S. Open, where she hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since the 2016 Australian Open.
“There was a time when she was my No. 1,” Halep said. “After that we lost some matches. I know that. I know that I’m not able to keep my No. 1 and for me it’s better to not have it, to not be here.”
This was the first time Osaka and Halep had faced each other, with Halep winning the first set and Osaka taking the second. In the third, Osaka broke the Romanian player for the first time with a serve that lasted just under four minutes when Halep was serving at a double-fault.
In the fourth, Osaka came within one point of breaking Halep’s serve with a volley from the right wing at the end of a service game, but Halep kept the set in tiebreak fashion