Osaka breaks in the fourth half of the third set!
Group C: * Osaka 1-6, 6-3, 3-1 Azarenka
Azarenka drops 15-30 in its serve, then mixes in its second double fault per day for 15-40 and a double break point. She saved the first with her 23rd win (against 19 non-coercive fouls), but Osaka got the second half with a heavy backhand at the end of a rally of 16 hits Azarenka couldn’t get past. The 2018 US Open champion advances in this third scheduled group.
Group C: Osaka 1-6, 6-3, 2-1 Azarenka *
Osaka easily stuck to love level 15, and the match ended with her sixth smack. She won 80% of first serve points in the third set, up from 65% in the second and 44% in the first set.
Group C: Osaka 1-6, 6-3, 1-1 Azarenka
Azarenka answers with perks of her own like action, infusing herself with a pair of “Come on!” Tips after the winners.
Group C: Osaka 1-6, 6-3, Azarenka 1-0 *
Osaka maintains its steadfastness to open the third set, and concluded the match with victory 23 and 24 (versus 18 easy fouls). She has won seven of her last eight matches. 180 complete.
Osaka wins the second set 6-3!
Osaka breaks the ninth in the second set!
Group B: Osaka 1-6, Azarenka 6-3
Osaka pushed Azarenka to a draw from 40 to 15, then crossed the backhand from baseline to break the touchdown point. She saved a pass from another fault in Osaka, only for Osaka to gain another breakout opportunity after a few more points from the Devil. This time, Osaka turns with a clear backhand from the baseline, breaking in a marathon match that spanned 16 points over the course of nine minutes, and we are heading to the decision.
Group B: Osaka 1-6, Azarenka 5-3 *
Osaka found her service. It’s pushed to 30-all but then goes 112 mph down the tube followed by a backhand early point. Azarenka will now stay in the second set.
Osaka breaks the seventh in the second set!
Group B: Osaka 1-6, Azarenka 4-3
Temporary lull in Azarenka’s service game and soon she falls in love with 40. She saved the first with a big forehand that Osaka couldn’t return, but then outperformed a backhand upon approaching, and now Osaka is on break.
Group B: Osaka 1-6, Azarenka 3-3 *
Osaka shines through her love, service winner, service winner, front-stroke winner, with a power of 107 mph.
Group B: * Osaka 1-6, 2-3 Azarenka
Azarenka offers her strongest grip yet, smashing a pair of aces and a second-serve winner at 82 mph.
Group B: Osaka 1-6, 2-2 Azarenka *
Osaka of Love-15, crushing a pair of 109 mph aces along the way to boost the break for the 2-all. Osaka progresses on average at 12 mph faster than Azarenka for the day, but only got 70% of its first serve (compared to 90% with Vika).
Osaka breaks in the third half of the second set!
Group B: * Osaka 1-6, 1-2 Azarenka
Osaka fell to 40-30 on serving Azarenka, who had already racked up three match wins. But Osaka managed to win with a forehand, then hit a forehand that Azarenka couldn’t handle on her first break in the match. And she switched it off with help from Azarenka’s fourth non-coercive foul in this set – having scored only three in the entire opening match.
Azarenka breaks the second half in the second set!
Group B: Osaka 1-6, Azarenka 0-2 *
Osaka’s bad day at the office takes a turn for the worse as she falls behind in love – 15 then 15-40 on her serve, giving Azarenka two love-breaking points. Osaka saves the first goal with a header in the afternoon, 93 mph down the middle. But Azarenka converted with a backhand at the next point and is ahead in the second set.
Azarenka wins the first set 6-1!
Azarenka breaks in the seventh inning of the first group!
Group A: Osaka 1-6 Azarenka
Osaka chips in an unintended No. 13 serving and suddenly Azarenka is three points off the set. Osaka hit back and won at 93 mph, only for Azarenka to push them to the tie. From there Azarenka finished the group, defeating Osaka for the third time in 26 minutes with a back kick.
Group A: * Osaka 1-5 Azarenka
Still swinging in the opening match, Osaka mixed in the 10th and 11th easy mistakes Azarenka made in the 40-15 race. Osaka nudged the ball to overtake Azarenka’s foul, followed by a 10-kicks-winning forehand. But Azarenka held on easily from there to consolidate the break and Osaka would work to stay in the first set.
Azarenka breaks in the fifth inning of the first group!
Group A: Osaka 1-4 Azarenka *
Azarenka nudged it to 30 goals in the Osaka service after Osaka’s eighth smooth foul (against two winners). Osaka then misfired for her second double mistake of the day to break point … and Azarenka switched it over as Osaka pushed a long forehand early in a starting rally. Vika rises a double break after only 17 minutes. Osaka’s serve is well below the level we used to see in this tournament (or in either of the previous two major tournament finals).
Group A: * Osaka 1-3 Azarenka
Azarenka remains ahead after drifting into another easy grip. She won eight out of nine in her serving.
Group A: Osaka 1-2 Azarenka *
Osaka made her sixth easy blunder in the afternoon with a basic 15-man forehand, but she slipped the next three points on her serve to finish off head-to-head and join the board.
Group A: * Osaka 0-2 Azarenka
Azarenka comfortably supports a break with a love comment. A promising start to her first major final in seven years.
Azarenka breaks in the first half of the first group!
Group A: Osaka 0-1 Azarenka *
The Osaka Scribble Service game, which starts with an unintended foul from a forehand, begins at the end of a 12-stroke core rally. You only score a base winner on the next point at a speed of 15-40, and give Azarenka a pair of early point break chances. She saved the first, but gave Azarenka the break with another incorrect frontal blow in the second.
The players finish their warm-ups and we must start in a moment. Osaka came to court wearing a face mask in the name of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old black boy who was shot by Cleveland Police in 2014, as part of her two-week tribute.
Anecdote from the tape
Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium in today’s US Open Women’s Singles Final between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka. The two hottest players on the WTA tour since the sport resumed after a five-month hiatus – both former world No.1, and both double Grand Slam champions – are minutes away from entering the field as each search for a third career title. .
Here’s a look at how today’s finalists compare. Osaka has a 2-1 lead in the head-to-head clash, winning its most recent encounter at the French Open last year. The two teams were due to meet for the fourth time in the final of the Western and Southern Australian Open last week, but Osaka withdrew due to a left hamstring injury.
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