Frustrated Osaka looking for answers after opening defeat

Naomi Osaka

Stephens, who won the 2017 U.S. Open after spending 11 months out with a foot injury, said she could sympathise with Osaka after the 21-year-old complained of exhaustion in her two tournament appearances since last month's triumph in NY.

Kiki, Bertens on the way to victory over the second racket of the world has served 5 aces and made 12 double faults, sold 6 of the 14 break points and made 33 vinners with 45 unforced errors.

"I knew I would have to play some really good tennis to beat her, stayed tough and tried to stay as positive as I could and took my opportunities when they presented themselves".

With the duo's battle taking almost two-and-a-half hours, the second match of the night started at around 10.30pm, and it was another three-set, two-hour-plus battle before Kiki Bertens - a first-time singles participant and a last-minute replacement for the injured Simona Halep - stunned top-seeded Angelique Kerber 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The world number four was visibly frustrated several times and dropped her racquet in disgust after failing to close out the second set in the ninth game.

Kerber's final group stage game is against Sloane Stephens on Friday and a win would nearly certainly guarantee her a spot in the last four.

Lakers’ Ingram, Rondo to miss game against Suns
Following the coming together of Paul and Rondo, Ingram ran from half-court and threw a punch in the direction of Paul and P.J. Tucker, but it didn't land flush. "If you wanted to suspend him one (game) I get it, just to make a statement.

"I thought I played a really good match".

It was the result crowd favourite Osaka needed after she fell to number one seed Angelique Kerber in a three-set classic to put her on the brink of elimination. But she redeemed herself by breaking straight back to level the match. "I feel like I play better when no one knows what I'm thinking", she said.

The world number nine - in Singapore after an injury to Simona Halep - was a set and a break down to top seed Kerber at one stage, with the Wimbledon champion seemingly set for a comprehensive opening victory.

Osaka changed her tactics at the start of the second set, drawing Stephens way from her baseline comfort zone to hold far more comfortably. "I'm just really grateful". "This match was sort of a continuation of my last match in a way. that I didn't serve well". Osaka saved two set points at 5-6, but hit an unforced error off her forehand on the third.

Reflecting on things she would like to improve in her upcoming matches, the Japanese player said that she hopes to address her "disappointing" first serve percentage and her attitude, apologizing for a few emotional outbursts after the match. She once again broke a flustered Kerber to take it into a third set for the first time between the pair.

"I just think here for some reason, I can't get the timing of the ball on the court, on the groundstrokes or the serves".

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