World number 13 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland has defeater the number one and top-seeded Naomi Osaka 7-5, 6-4, on Monday, in the fourth round of the ongoing US Open at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. With this defeat, Osaka’s bid to defend the 2018 title had also come to an end.
Bencic displayed intent right from the word go and had her Japanese opponent down to 3-0 in the first set. Osaka did manage to put up a comeback but that was not enough to stop the 22-year-old Swiss from taking the set 7-5. Bencic, who has been mentored by Roger Federer and Martina Hingis, replicated the same story in the second set and won it 6-4 to win the match in straight sets.
She hit 29 winners and committed just 12 unforced errors. Osaka, was not far behind with 26 winners but it was her 21 unforced errors that made her pay a hefty price. However, more than her unforced errors, it could also be her long-sustained knee injury that saw her going down in the fourth round. Her trainer had also come out in the second set to treat her but it remained unclear if it was for her knee. Interestingly, she had bowed out early in the last two grand slams, French and Wimbledon Open, as well.
Speaking to the media after her win, Bencic said, “I was so excited to come on the court. I think the challenge cannot be bigger against Naomi. She’s a great player and obviously she won U.S. Open last year, so I had to be at the top of my game, so I’m really pleased with how I played and how I managed my nerves at the end.”
The defeat of Osaka also means that both the top-seeded player have now gone out of this year’s US Open before the round of 16. Men’s number one seed Novak Djokovic retired against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday. The Serbian suffered an injury his left shoulder and left the match in the fourth set.