Aug 292017
 
Nadal, Osaka shine as rain causes US Open havoc

Rafael Nadal took his US Open first-round record to 13-0 but Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka stole the headlines by knocking out defending champion Angelique Kerber as torrential rain caused more than 50 matches to be shelved Tuesday. As players ran for cover from drenched outside courts where just 90 minutes of action was possible, and only three matches completed, Osaka’s big-hitting game flourished under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The world number 46, born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, won 6-3, 6-1 as sixth seed Kerber became the first US Open women’s defending champion to lose in the first round since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005. World number one Nadal, meanwhile, began his campaign for a third US Open title with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-2 win over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. The 31-year-old Spaniard recovered from 3-5 down in the opening set against the 85th-ranked Lajovic, who has never won a match in New York. “When I was down in the first set, I just tried to be there as he was playing well and controlling the points,” said French Open champion Nadal, who is chasing a 16th major. “But the end of the first set was very important. I got the break back and after that, everything changed.” Osaka, who surrendered a 5-1 final-set lead on the same court in losing to Madison Keys in the third round 12 months ago, fired 22 winners as Kerber went tumbling out of the world’s top 10 as [Read More…]