Naomi Osaka falls defeated to Bencic in US Open

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Naomi Osaka’s defence of her US Open title has come to an end as she was beaten by Belinda Bencic at Flushing Meadows. Bencic beat Osaka in straight sets 7-5, 6-4, and now advances into Wednesday’s quarterfinal against Donna Vekic. It was Bencic’s third win of the year over Osaka.

“I was so excited to come on the court,” Bencic said, according to the New York Times.

“I think the challenge cannot be bigger: against Naomi, a great player and who obviously won the US Open last year. I had to be on the top of my game. I’m very pleased with how I played and how I managed my nerves in the end.

“She has a lot of power, I was just trying to play it a little bit like chess, anticipate, and make a tactic on the court.”

However, Osaka started off badly as she lost her serve at the first opportunity and had to save two break points to avoid going 3-0 down. She then fought back with a break before Bencic took the decisive break in the 11th game and then served out the set.

In the second set, Osaka, who later said she had been struggling with a knee injury, double-faulted to gift Bencic another break and the Swiss player took the final game of the match with a service hold to love.

“For me, right now I have this feeling of sadness, but I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament,” said Osaka, who received wide praise for comforting 15-year-old Coco Gauff, with both players crying after their third-round match.

“I feel like the steps I’ve taken as a person have been much greater than I would imagine at this point, so I hope I can keep growing. I know if I keep working hard, then I’ll have better results.”

Defeat to Bencic brings an end to Osaka’s reign as champion, as the 22-year-old Swiss now advances into Wednesday’s quarterfinal where she will face Donna Vekic. Find the latest recommended US Open odds here.

Osaka’s elimination means there is now only one Grand Slam winner remaining in the entire women’s singles bracket, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams playing Wang Qiang at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.