- 29 Aug 2019
Naomi Osaka moved into round three of the US Open with a straight-sets win over in-form Magda Linette, but she did not have it all her own way.
Reigning champion Osaka was taken the distance by Anna Blinkova in her opener on Tuesday but avoided a repeat after reeling off five straight games to come from behind in the second set and triumph 6-2 6-4.
The world number one will face the winner of the encounter between teenage sensation Coco Gauff and Timea Babos in the third round.
Osaka was forced to retire from her Western & Southern Open quarter-final against Sofia Kenin due to a knee injury and admitted after overcoming Blinkova she did not feel at her best.
However, she started strongly at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday, not dropping a single point in her first two service games and then breaking to love.
The two-time major champion rallied from 40-0 down in game seven to earn a double break and promptly wrapped up a commanding first set.
Linette – who was on a nine-match winning streak that included clinching a first WTA Tour title at the Bronx Open – won against serve when Osaka buried a shot in the net early in the second and the Japanese was fortunate her opponent failed to repeat a stunning forehand down the line for a 4-0 advantage.
Osaka heeded the warning and came straight back, regaining her rhythm and surging into a potential blockbuster against Gauff that would delight the fans at Flushing Meadows.
Across the finish line
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2019
Naomi Osaka  bt Magda Linette 6-2 6-4
Osaka – 13/19
Linette – 10/20
Osaka – 2/3
Linette – 2/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Osaka – 4/6
Linette – 1/4
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Osaka – 46
Linette – 55
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Osaka – 83/59
Linette – 55/50
Osaka – 60
Linette – 43