Osaka loses to Bencic, Nadal advances


September 3, 2019 - 10:09 AM

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland shakes hands after winning her Women's Singles fourth round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan at the 2019 US Open on Monday. KENA BETANCUR/GETTY IMAGES/TNS

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka’s achy left knee didn’t let her serve without pain, so she didn’t practice that key part of her game leading into the U.S. Open. The knee also prevented her from covering the court and preparing for shots the way she’d like.

Those weren’t the only reasons that the No. 1-seeded Osaka’s 10-match winning streak at the U.S. Open and title defense ended Monday in the fourth round. Belinda Bencic’s clean, crisp strokes, struck with the ball still on the rise, contributed plenty to the outcome, too.

Osaka joined 2018 men’s champion Novak Djokovic on the sideline before the quarterfinals, exiting with a 7-5, 6-4 loss to the 13th-seeded Bencic under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium on a rainy afternoon. Djokovic stopped playing in his fourth-rounder Sunday night because of a problematic left shoulder.

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