Naomi Osaka upset by Leylah Fernandez in third round at US Open
Naomi Osaka’s streak of disappointing finishes continues.
Osaka, who won the US Open last year, was knocked out of the tournament early this year. She was defeated by Leylah Fernandez in three sets on Friday night, losing 5-7, 7-6, 6-4.
The 18-year-old pulled off a big upset against Osaka, who is the first top-10 seed on the women’s side of the US Open to lose this year.
Osaka seemed to have difficulty with the look Fernandez presented as a lefty:
Leylah Fernandez upsets Naomi Osaka (3) at the #USOpen
This is Fernandez's first win over a top-3 ranked player in the world pic.twitter.com/Z4CikYwNIs
— ESPN (@espn) September 4, 2021
All three of her losses this summer have now come against lefties.
Osaka took the first set and served for the match in the second set up 6-5 but blew it. She grew frustrated as she gave away the second set with five unforced errors in the second set tiebreak. She slammed slammed her racket numerous times during the set. That frustration seemed to spill into the third set, which she dropped to lose the match.
Osaka has had a bad run over the last several months. Though she won the Australian Open early in the year, she struggled on clay and developed some fears over playing on the surface. That led to her issues that resulted in her withdrawal from the French Open.
Osaka missed Wimbledon but returned for the Western & Southern Open, where she lost in the third round. Osaka also lost in the third round at the Olympics, and has now made a third-round exit at the US Open.
Osaka is the best hardcourt player in women’s tennis. Her failures to get past the third round of three straight hardcourt events suggests she is not past her mental issues and that she could use some time off to rebuild her confidence.