Toronto: Naomi Osaka’s latest problems continued on Tuesday, with her early exit from the National Bank Open.
A four-time Grand Slam champion retired from her first-round match due to an injury to her back. She was 7-6 (4) with a 3-0 lead against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi at the time she pulled herself from the match.
“I felt my back from the start of the match, and despite trying to push through it, I just wasn’t able to today,” Osaka declared. “I’d like to pay credit to Kaia for playing well and want to wish her all the best for the rest of the tournament.”
In the lead-up to the event, Osaka was eliminated in her last three matches during the first or the second round, which included a straight-sets defeat to Coco Gauff in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. It was her first competition following her winning the French Open as she recovered from an Achilles injury.
Before that She had her most successful event of the year, reaching the semi-finals stage of the Miami Open in early April before falling to the world number one Iga Swiatek.
Ranked 31st, Kanepi will play next against No. 8 Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
The other match was also a success. the 10th seeded Gauff defeated her fellow American Madison Brenglem 6-1, 6-1; China’s ZhengQinwen beat Canada’s Rebecca Marino, 3-6, 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4); Italy’s Camila Giorgi beat ninth-seeded Emma Raducanu of England, 7-6 (0) 7-6 (0), 6-2 as well Bianca Andreescu of Canada beat Daria Kasatkina of Russia 7-6 (5) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4. Elise Mertens of Belgium, Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, Ajla Tomljanovic of Russia, Amanda Anisimova of the United States, and Zhang Shuai from China are also among the players who advanced.
Osaka struggled with unforced mistakes and suffered five double-faults in the first set. She was able to win the opening game by virtue of three unforced errors by Kanepi however, Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion lost her energy after she was up by 2-1.
Kanepi took four wins in the following seven games, making it 5-3. Then, Osaka had to fight her way through two set-point opportunities by Kanepi. Through a combination of an impressive backhand and a number of mistakes from Kanepi, Osaka was able to secure the tie and force the set into the tiebreaker.
When the tiebreaker was tied at three-3 Kanepi increased her game, taking only four points in the following five after Osaka handed her the set point with a shot that went past the base. Kanepi continued to build on her momentum during the second set, profiting from Osaka’s errors and launching sharp forehands over Osaka. Japanese superstar.
After securing the second Ace of the game earlier in the contest, Kanepi closed out with her powerful serve, which Osaka hit wide and high.
Andreescu was the winner of this tournament in 2019, before claiming her first U.S. Open title in an event that was a breakthrough year for her at 22. The Romanian hasn’t won any tournaments since, after battling injuries and taking a “mental break” at one moment in 2021. Andreescu’s only appearance of the year was at the Bad Homburg Open where she was defeated by Caroline Garcia.
Andreescu will take on Alize Cornet from France in the second round.