Naomi Osaka lost in the opening round of the 2022 Cincinnati Open on Tuesday, bringing further insults to her disappointing season.
The Japanese player faced Shuai Zhang in the opening round of the 2022 Cincinnati Open, but she was unable to play to her full potential as Shuai won 6-4, 7-5. With the victory, Shuai’s win-loss record against Osaka is tied at 3-3.
The four-time Grand Slam champion showed early symptoms of difficulty during the match when she dropped the first set and fought back in the second after Shuai served for the match at 5-4. However, Zhang Shuai maintained her composure and served out the match at 6-5 to win in straight sets.
The unexpected defeat means that Osaka will be unseeded at the US Open, a tournament she has won twice before.
Due to her lack of tournament and match wins, the four-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t had a very good season. While she did not compete at Wimbledon due to injury, she fared poorly in the first two Grand Slams of the year and lost in the third and first rounds in Melbourne and Paris, respectively. She lost to Amanda Anisimova in both Majors.
Additionally, the World No. 39 recently withdrew from her first-round match at the 2022 Canadian Open midway through due to injury after losing to American Coco Gauff in the round of 16 at the Silicon Valley Classic.
It was also her first opening-round defeat in back-to-back tournaments since Canada and Cincinnati in 2018. She later went on to win the hardcourt Major at Flushing Meadows that same year.
Also Checkout:- Cincinnati Open 2022 Results
So, there is a minuscule possibility that history will repeat itself, but given Naomi Osaka’s performance this year, it seems unlikely.
Naomi Osaka’s record at the US Open
Naomi Osaka made headlines after after winning the US Open in 2018 by defeating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in the championship match. With her victory, she also accomplished history by becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
In 2020, the former world champion won her second US title. With that, she joined Virginia Wade, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, and Monica Seles as the only women to have won their first three Major finals in the Open Era.
Having triumphed at the 2020 US Open by defeating Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final, Naomi Osaka became the first woman to win the Major at Flushing Meadows (singles) after coming back from a set down since 1994.