Naomi Osaka ‘really scared’ after Daria Seville collapses with knee injury


Naomi Osaka said she felt “really scared” after seeing opponent Daria Seville collapse with a knee injury just seven minutes into their Pan Pacific Open match in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Australian Saville retired from the first-round match after injuring his left knee hitting a cross-court forehand in the second game of the match.

The world number 55 screamed “my knee” before falling to the ground in agony and Osaka ran to the side of the court to check on her opponent.

Saville, 28, retired from the match after several minutes of treatment and Osaka, who has struggled with injury herself this year, said she felt “really sad” for her opponent.

“I thought she was just screaming because she thought her forehand was out, then I realized she was in pain because she was screaming,” said the former world number one, who aims to break a slump in form in Tokyo this week. kept .

“Then I got really scared because I thought we have a very high pain tolerance as athletes. It looked really bad.”

Naomi Osaka runs over Daria Seville (AP).

Savile finally got up and went to her chair, but she retired after testing her knees with several footwork exercises.

Osaka said she thinks Savile will “be OK” and added that he is a “fighter”.

Osaka, who was on break point at 30-40 in the second game after holding her serve in the first game, will play Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round on Thursday.

“Right now, it still feels a little weird that I just won a match – I feel like I haven’t won a match,” said Osaka, who has lost in the first round of her last three tournaments.

“I think I did and I’m moving on in the tournament. I’m not thinking too much about the final right now.

Osaka is the defending Pan Pacific Open champion, although the tournament is being played for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Earlier in the day, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin of the United States lost to Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 in the first round.

Kenin also reached the final of the French Open in 2020 but has since struggled with injury to reach a world ranking of 315.

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova defeated Bulgarian qualifier Isabella Shinnikova 6-2, 6-1.

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