Naomi Osaka Confirms Cincinnati Open 2021 Participation Before US Open Title Defense

Published 08/13/2021, 11:41 AM EDT
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Eleven. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning the first set during her victory against Madison Keys of the United States in the Women’s Singles Semi Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6th, 2018 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


For the first time since withdrawing from the French Open, Naomi Osaka will compete in a WTA event. Earlier today, she was spotted practicing for the Cincinnati Open, which begins on August 16.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The World No. 2 last played in the Tokyo Olympics, where she carried the hopes of her country for a medal. However, she suffered a shock loss in the third round to eventual silver medalist Marketa Vondrousova.

Naomi Osaka spotted practicing on the courts of the Cincinnati Open 2021

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Osaka withdrew from the French Open earlier this year citing mental health issues. Although she skipped the Wimbledon Championships, she made a comeback at the Olympics last month. This drew positive reactions from fans across the world, who initially lauded her for bringing the importance of mental health in the spotlight.

Billed as a favorite to taste gold in Tokyo, the 24-year-old recorded convincing victories in her first two matches. However, Vondrousova caused the biggest upset of the tournament, beating Osaka in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

With the US Open in less than three weeks, several players are competing in warmup tournaments. Earlier this month, Osaka announced her withdrawal from the National Bank Open 2021. However, fans of the Japanese star received a positive update as she practiced her serve on the courts of Cincinnati.

With her World No. 2 ranking, Osaka will be the top in the women’s singles category. This is because Ashleigh Barty will miss the tournament.

DIVE DEEPER

How Much Money Does Naomi Osaka Have?

7 months ago

 

Can Osaka secure her maiden Cincinnati Open title?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Last year, she finished runner-up to World No. 15 Victoria Azarenka in this tournament. However, she went on to clinch the ultimate prize by winning the US Open in 2020.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Naomi Osaka of Japan returns the ball during her Women’s Singles semifinal match against Jennifer Brady of the United States on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The women’s singles category of the Cincinnati Open will have a new champion as Azarenka is competing in the National Bank Open. This places Osaka in prime position to clinch her maiden Cincinnati Open title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite her setback in Tokyo, the 24-year-old’s prowess on hard courts is unmatched at the moment. However, her loss to Vondrousova showed she isn’t immune to upsets.

WATCH STORY: Top Things Naomi Osaka Spends Her Millions On

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanket Nair

610 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT