Defending champion Naomi Osaka is looking for her third US Open title in four attempts as the final Grand Slam of the year begins on Monday with top-ranked Wimbledon winner Ashley Barty hosting rivals.
It is uncertain whether New York will rediscover the dominant form of Osaka that saw it win the last two Grand Slam events.
The 23-year-old Japanese star lit the Olympic carpet at the Tokyo Games, but Japan played only two matches before the Open.
Osaka said, “I know I need to fix a lot of things in my game, so in a weird way I’m glad I lost, because there are a lot of things I had to fix before New York. want to do.” .
“I don’t think my level is that far away … If I want to be more positive with myself, I need to think about things I can improve on. There are definitely a lot of things. “
Osaka withdrew from the French Open after being fined for not speaking to reporters after his first match, saying it had damaged his mental health. She then dropped out of Wimbledon but spoke to the media after her US Open tone-up match in Cincinnati.
“I felt it was necessary to do something for me,” Osaka said. “I’m proud of what I did and I think it needed to be done.
“Sometimes we feel really sad, and I think maybe there should be a rule that we (answers to questions) can take a sick day.”
Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka in the final to win the US Open last year, becoming the first woman since 1994 to step down to win the US Open final.
At this year’s Australian Open, Osaka saved match points in the fourth round against Garbine Muguroza of Spain and defeated 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the semifinals before defeating Jane Brady in the final.
Osaka, ranked third, has won its first four Grand Slam finals, trailing only Roger Federer by seven and six runs in the Munger Sales to open the best Slam final in the Open Era (since 1968).
For the 83rd week in a row, Barty topped the world rankings at Wimbledon and Cincinnati, putting Flushing Meadows in excellent form in 15 days.
The 25-year-old Australian’s 2021 title includes Miami, Melbourne and Stuttgart, and has increased his career total to 13.
“I feel comfortable and ready,” Barty said. “I feel good, I feel ready. Of course it’s been a big year and we still have a little bit left.”
Barty won his first major title at the 2019 French Open and his second trophy in London halved his career grand slam.
“I didn’t even think about it,” Barty said. “It took me 25 years to get the first two, so let’s hope it doesn’t take another 25 to get the next two. We’ll leave it at that.”
Williams, who has not played a competitive hardcourt match since losing to Osaka in February, will miss the first round match at Wimbledon in New York due to a right hamstring injury.
Williams said on Instagram on Wednesday, “After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open so that my body can recover completely from a ruptured hamstring.” Found. “
Williams, who turns 40 next month, is embarrassed by Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
An impressive collection of 20 items in the world’s top 10 competitors will hit the trophy.
The group includes Czech Barbora Karjikova, French Open champion. Second place Wimbledon semi-finalist Ariana Sabalinka of Belarus Wimbledon runner-up Czech Republic Carolina Pliskova Sofia Cannon, 2020 Australian Open winner Bianca Andresco of Canada, 2020 US Open winner who did not participate in last year’s event 2020 French Open Elena Svetolina of Ukraine, who won the Iga Svetik and the Tokyo Olympic bronze medal.