Naomi Osaka was beaten by Shuai Zhang in round one of the Western & Southern Open and she’ll be an unseeded player at the US Open.
Osaka had some success in the past at the US Open being a former champion and beating Williams in the final. She would win it two years later as well but now she’ll be an unseeded player at the grand slam. It comes after a string of poor results including some injury problems that had her miss a good chunk of the clay season and the entirety of the grass season.
The defeat was a poor one because it continued a trend of poor returning from Osaka. Zhang averaged 85 mph on first serves and Osaka was unable to place the ball into the court most of the time. Osaka herself does not seem worried as her focus is mostly on enjoying playing tennis rather than results. It’s an interesting way of handling things as her mental health issues had her questioning her future in tennis.
It’s making things much harder for her as she’s dealing with many things at the moment. Multiple off-court business ventures as well as splitting with her coach and it seems like her tennis is suffering the most.