Tennis - Former US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who walked on to the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court for her US Open first round match wearing a mask with the name of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by police officers in March, says that she has seven masks with different names and hopes she will get a chance to wear all of them at the tournament.
Osaka needed three sets to win her first round match over countrywoman Misaki Doi 6-2 5-7 6-2 on Monday evening in New York. Speaking to the press after her match, Osaka said, "Actually, so I have seven (masks). It’s quite sad that seven masks aren’t enough for all the names.
Hopefully I’ll get to the final so you can see all of them”. "For me, I just want to spread awareness. I'm aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn't know Breonna Taylor's story.
"Maybe they'll Google it or something. For me, just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they'll become in it." The former World No. 1 played a critical role in the decision of the Western & Southern Open event to take a one-day pause on Thursday to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
Naomi Osaka says her leg felt relatively good during the match
During her delayed semi-final match which took place on Friday, Osaka also injured her left hamstring which forced her to withdraw from the final on Saturday.
She said her leg felt relatively good.and she is managing the pain for now. “Physically I feel like I could be better. But I can’t complain because I won the match. The leg felt relatively good. “It was still a little bit sore ...
But then during the match, it slowly got a little bit worse. For the most part I’m managing”. "It was very difficult and I kind of expected it because first-round nerves and also she’s a tough opponent so I knew there was a chance it would get really long."
Naomi Osaka will next meet Italy's Camila Giorgi in the second round. Giorgi scored a win over Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 2-6 6-1 7-5 in her first round match.