US Open 2019: Naomi Osaka loses to Belinda Bencic in last 16

Belinda Bencic
Belinda Bencic, the 13th seed, has now matched her best run at a Grand Slam event
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka has been knocked out of the US Open, losing 7-5 6-4 to Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the last 16.

She then fought back with a break before Bencic took the decisive break in the 11th game and then served out the set.

In the second set, Osaka, who later said she had been struggling with a knee injury, double-faulted to gift Bencic another break and the Swiss player took the final game of the match with a service hold to love.

After winning the Australian Open in January for her second Grand Slam, Osaka became the world number one, a position she held until June when Barty took over.

Osaka returned to the top eight weeks later but Barty will become number one again, despite losing in the last 16 to China’s Qiang Wang on Sunday.

“For me, right now I have this feeling of sadness, but I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament,” said Osaka, who received wide praise for comforting 15-year-old Coco Gauff, with both players crying after their third-round match.

“I feel like the steps I’ve taken as a person have been much greater than I would imagine at this point, so I hope I can keep growing. I know if I keep working hard, then I’ll have better results.”

Vekic comes back from brink to beat Gorges

Donna Vekic
Donna Vekic has won two WTA Tour titles

Bencic’s quarter-final opponent will be 23-year-old Vekic, who is through to the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time after a superb recovery against Gorges.

Germany’s Gorges served for the match when leading 5-4 in the second set but appeared overcome with nerves, coughing up three double faults among a series of errors.

She did have a match point but netted a forehand and when a serve-volley went long, Vekic was back at 5-5. The Croat then broke again in Gorges’ next service game to take the second set.

A single break in the decider left Vekic serving for the match at 5-3 and she had to save two break points before a Gorges smash went over the baseline to give her the victory.

“She was serving for the match, had match points but I just kept fighting and believing I could win,” said Vekic.

“I was just trying to get a return in the court, she was serving amazing, but I felt confident in the rallies.”

On facing Bencic, Vekic added: “She is a really good friend of mine, we practise together often and know each other’s game pretty well. She’s one of the best players this year.”

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September 2019