Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka admitted that she "got really scared" after realizing that Daria Saville was in great pain after sustaining what looked to be a serious left knee injury. In the second game of their Tokyo first round match, Saville crushed onto the court after a forehand and was heard screaming "my knee."
After realizing that Saville was down severely injured, Osaka rushed across the other side of the net to assist Saville. After receiving a medical intervention, Saville retired the match. “I thought that she was just yelling because she thought her forehand was out, then I realised that she was yelling because she was in pain,” Osaka said.
“Then I got really scared because I felt like as athletes we have a pretty high pain tolerance. It seemed really bad”.
Osaka's losing streak ends
After losing four consecutive matches - of which three were in first rounds - Osaka has finally ended her losing streak.
But Osaka refused to celebrate or be happy about as she acknowledged that it didn't feel like a victory for her. Osaka kept it very respectful toward Saville after the match. “Right now, it still feels a bit weird that I just won a match — I feel like I didn’t win a match,” Osaka admitted.
"I guess that I did and I’m progressing through the tournament. I’m not really thinking too much about the final right now”. Meanwhile, Osaka plays Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Tokyo round-of-16. Osaka and Haddad Maia will be clashing for the first time on the main level.
In 2015 - when they were still teenagers - Osaka defeated Haddad Maia in the qualifying event of a Futures event. In Tokyo, Osaka is a two-time finalist. It remains to be seen if Osaka can beat Haddad Maia and potentially make another deep run in the Japanese capital.