Defending Champ! Naomi Osaka Begins Her 5th Grand Slam Hunt at US Open 2021

Published 08/24/2021, 12:02 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis Training – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 19, 2021 Naomi Osaka of Japan during training REUTERS/Hannah Mckay


Ahead of the US Open 2021, the anticipation is peaking like never before. After an exhausting season, the players will aim to finish on the ultimate high. The final major of the year brings with it numerous challenges, numerous players and numerous outcomes. Former World No.1 Naomi Osaka headlines a packed draw. The defending champion will go all guns blazing in her bid to retain the crown. But can she go all the way again?

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 12: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts in the third set during her Women’s Singles final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Thirteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Japanese superstar always seems to rise to the occasion, especially in the hard-court Grand Slams. She has won the US Open and Australian Open back to back on two separate occasions, in 2018-19 and in 2020-21. This year, Osaka enters New York on the back of some average form, with a mixed campaign so far. After beginning strong, the 4-time major winner lost her way in the middle. This has seen her slip to #3 in the rankings, behind Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka. However, the US Open will bring back vivid memories and a renewed hope for her.

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Naomi Osaka arrives at New York ahead of 2021 US Open

Last year, Naomi drew inspiration from all ends to steamroll her way to the title. In the final, she defeated Victoria Azarenka in a brilliant battle. Flushing Meadows has always been close to the heart of the 23-year-old. After disappointing outings at the Tokyo Olympics and the Cincinnati Masters, Osaka has landed in New York for the final Slam.

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The legendary Arthur Ashe stadium has treated Naomi Osaka well over the past few years, and she will be hoping that 2021 is no different. Ahead of the commencement of the event on August 30th, the reigning women’s singles champion arrived in New York to prepare. As seen in a recent social media post, Osaka was out on the practice courts with her coach Wim Fissette. The tweet was captioned “the champ is here.” 

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The stakes couldn’t get higher than this. After a forgettable couple of months, the Japanese No.1 will aim to prove her critics wrong in one of her most successful events. Can Naomi Osaka go back-to-back in New York? Lay down your predictions.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

225 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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