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US Open champion Osaka loses again to Wimbledon winner, Angelique Kerber

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WIMBLEDON champion, Angelique Kerber beat US Open champion Naomi Osaka 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 yesterday at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore presented by SC Global.

The victory means Kerber’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals remain alive, while her Japanese opponent’s fate depends on the outcome of the second match between Kiki Bertens and Sloane Stephens. Stephens, who defeated Osaka during the first Red Group match on Monday, must win in order for the latter to stay in contention.

World No. 2 Kerber and Osaka exchanged three consecutive breaks of serve to start the match, before the former consolidated the break for a 3-1 lead.

Taking advantage as a visibly frustrated Osaka hit a series of unforced errors, the German then saved five break points and closed it out with a big serve on set point.

World No. 4, Osaka was steadier to start the second set, forcing errors off her opponent’s racket to build a 3-1 lead.

But Kerber, known for being one of the best retrievers on tour, did not back down. She rallied to get back on serve, hitting a forehand winner cross court while on the run to earn three break points.

She served for the match at 5-4 after a double fault by Osaka, but the Japanese was not done yet. The US Open champion needed three break points to level the score, doing so with a forehand winner as the crowd roared in delight.

A backhand winner down the line gave Osaka her first set point, and she won the second set after a Kerber forehand found the net.

Osaka had two game points on two occasions in the third set, but ultimately faltered – she hit four straight unforced errors to give Kerber a 5-3 lead.

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