Former World No.1 Naomi Osaka suffered back-to-back losses at the WTA 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati before the US Open, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Japanese. In 2018, Osaka picked up back-to-back first-round losses in Canada and Cincinnati.
Osaka then went on an impressive run at the US Open to win her first Grand Slam title.
This is the first time Naomi Osaka has lost her first match in consecutive tournaments since Canada and #cincytennis in 2018.
He went on to win his next event, the US Open.
🤷 — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 16, 2022
Last week in Toronto, Osaka was forced to withdraw her first-round match against Kaia Kanepi when she was down a set and a break. On Tuesday, Osaka suffered a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Zhang Shuai.
For the first time since 2018, Osaka enters the US Open with first-round exits in Canada and Cincinnati.
Osaka sent off by Zhang in straight sets
Osaka got off to a slow start to the match as Zhang earned the first break in the first game of the match.
In game six, Osaka had her first break point of the match, but Zhang saved it to open up a 4-2 lead. Zhang then routinely served out her next two service games to claim the first set. After winning the first set, Zhang hit the first break of the second set in the third game to open a 2-1 lead.
In the tenth game of the second set, when Zhang was serving for the match, Osaka hit her first break to tie the set at five games apiece. Just when it looked like Osaka could generate a big comeback, she was broken in the 11th game as Zhang took a 6-5 lead and got another chance to serve for the match.
In the 12th game, Zhang served to love and completed a straight-set victory. Despite back-to-back outings in Toronto and Cincinnati, Osaka is not without a win this summer. Three weeks ago in San Jose, Osaka defeated Qinwen Zheng in the first round before losing to Cori Gauff in the round of 16. Osaka is a two-time US Open champion and it remains to be seen how she fares at the US Open.