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Tennis

US Open champion facing fitness race

17th August 2019, 12:23 by Bobbie Jackson

Naomi Osaka faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open after suffering a knee injury at the Cincinnati Masters.

The 21-year-old trailed American Sofia Kenin 6-4 1-6 2-0 in their Cincinnati Masters quarter-final tie before a knee injury brought an end to her participation.

Osaka received treatment on court but was unable to continue and subsequently had to retire from the clash just over a week before the US Open.

The Japanese star won the Grand Slam event last season and is desperate to return to Flushing Meadows to defend her crown.

Osaka said: "I really don't know what's going on with my leg right now,.

"It sucks, especially since I didn't want to get injured this close to the Open, and now I'm kind of worried a little bit.

"The thing is, my pain tolerance is really high, so that's usually why I play through things that apparently I shouldn't.

"I feel like this might have that one percent chance of me not being able to play, and that's what's concerning me.

"In the end, I'm going to play even if the doctor says no, probably."

Her withdrawal from this week's event has left Osaka in danger of losing her spot at the top of the world rankings.

Ashleigh Barty, who plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals, will become world number one if she reaches the final.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.

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