Knee injury puts Osaka's US Open title defense in doubt

Ross Houston
August 19, 2019

She also considered the long run in the tournament a great tuneup for the U.S. Open, which begins August 26. She expected to get an MRI.

She still plans to play at Flushing Meadows but it's unclear whether the knee will be a problem.

The shutdown triumph by the 34-year-old double Grand Slam victor leaves injured Osaka atop the rankings with the US Open starting a week from Monday. "This year, I'm trying to play the U.S. Open".

Osaka split two sets with Sofia Kenin.

Serving at 1-1, 40-40 in the third set Osaka stopped play and received a medical time out.

This time, a resurgent Kuznetsova gave her no openings, knocking off a top-five player for the second time this week to reach her first final of the season. "I really don't know what's going on with my leg right now".


Ashleigh Barty moved one win away from a return to the top WTA ranking Friday, reaching the Cincinnati WTA semi-finals as neither Naomi Osaka nor Karolina Pliskova could progress.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys vanquished seven-time major champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-3 to set up a semi-final with fellow American Kenin.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia (R) shakes hands with Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation after losing in straight sets.

Ashleigh Barty lost her chance to regain the No.1 world ranking when the Australian was beaten in straight sets by Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters on Saturday.

"Still not quite there, but we're getting better and better each match", the French Open champion said. "If I can win matches, the ranking will take care of itself".

"I'm still aiming to obviously do very well here, but the big picture is NY in 10 days' time".


She needs some work on those first sets, though.

Barty got ahead 5-2 in her opening set and got sloppy, letting it slip away.

"It was important for me at the start of the second set to go back to basics and what worked before", the 23-year-old Barty said. She fought off a match point during a three-set win over Anett Kontaveit on Thursday, showing poise that she'd need to draw upon again a day later.

"I feel really good" she said. "I'm still able to, more times than not, have the ability to relax and kind of stay clear and come back to what works".

Barty lost to wildcard Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open on Saturday, adding to the tournament's week of upsets and injuries.

The 34-year-old Kuznetsova - a two-time Australian Open victor - will soar up the rankings from 153rd after her recovery from a seven-month layoff due of a knee injury. He'll face Danlil Medvedev, who knocked off qualifier Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3. He broke Pouille and served it out despite the discomfort.


"I see mostly positives in my game", Djokovic said.

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