Osaka knocked out of WTA Finals

NAOMI Osaka used her potent serve to punishing effect to claim the U.S. Open title last month but the Japanese has been unable to harness its full power at the WTA Finals, losing her opening two round-robin matches in tight three-setters.

Defeats by Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber have left Osaka on the brink of elimination and even a win over Kiki Bertens in her final Red Group match today would not guarantee a semi-final spot at the eight-player event.

“I feel like this match was sort of a continuation of my last match in a way that I feel like I just didn’t serve well in either of them,” Osaka told reporters after her 6-4 5-7 6-4 loss to Wimbledon champion Kerber on Wednesday.

“In a way, I’m very proud of myself for being able to make the matches so close without really having a first serve, but I don’t know. I feel like I’m not really sure how that’s going wrong, and I want to practice it.

“I’m playing against the best players in the world, so I feel like I want to be in top form, but I’m not really there. So it’s a little bit depressing.” – Reuters

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