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US Open Day 3: Osaka Makes Another Statement, One Djokovic Streak Ends



By Ricky Dimon

Naomi Osaka has been making just as many statements off the court as on it over the past couple of weeks. Sure she did well to reach the final of the Western & Southern Open last week, but her protest of social injustice made more headlines by sparking a one-day pause at that tournament. At the US Open, she did not play particularly well in round one but continued to preach her message by wearing a mask with Breonna Taylor’s name on it during her post-match interview.

On Wednesday, though, she also made a real statement racket. Osaka raised her level considerably from a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over Masaki Doi and crushed Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round.

This time the Japanese No 4 seed wore a mask with Elijah McClain’s name on it. She says she has seven masks ready, and hopes she needs all seven because it would mean she plays in the final.

“I have seven,” she said. “It’s actually sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names. Hopefully I will get to the final and you can see all seven.”

On the men’s side, you can definitely expect to see Novak Djokovic in the final. The recent Cincinnati champion continued his quest for Grand Slam title No. 18 by beating Kyle Edmund on Wednesday afternoon.

With that Djokovic’s season-opening winning streak extended to 25 matches.

But a different streak came to an end. The world No. 1 had been 10-0 in tiebreakers this year before losing the first set to Edmund in a ‘breaker.

“Look, I don’t think I played a fantastic tiebreak,” Djokovic admitted, “but I think Kyle did well. He deserved to win that tiebreak in the first set. I think he was just a very solid player, probably a better player in the first set. Yeah, I mean, having a very good tiebreak record this year, but also in the last probably five years, it’s a huge confidence booster coming into any tiebreak on a big stage. Hopefully next one I will feel as well as I did coming into this tiebreak or any other previously.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.