By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — The cream usually rises to the top.
And it did Saturday at Flushing Meadows. Naomi Osaka overcame a blistering start by Victoria Azarenka to defeat the 2-time Grand Slam champion 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Not since 1995 had a US Open Champion come back from an opening set deficit. It was Osaka’s 3rd Grand slam win and second US Open victory. She previously won this event in 2018.
Azarenka, a native of Belarus, has 2 Grand Slam wins in her arsenal, with the last coming at the 2013 Australian Open. Osaka seemed shell shocked in the early going, dropping the first set in 26 minutes.
She noted after the match that, “I thought it would be embarrassing to lose this in under an hour.” The unseeded Azarenka came in with an 11-match winning streak, after winning the Western & Southern Open at the US Open premises.
She seemed to thrive in 3-set matches, but it was Osaka’s power which proved to be the difference. Osaka was born in Japan and now lives in California.
Both women will be competing in the French Open in Paris in a week.