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Naomi Osaka advances to 3rd round of U.S. Open after opponent withdraws

Naomi Osaka advances to 3rd round of U.S. Open after opponent withdraws

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Defending champion Naomi Osaka returned to the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday when her opponent withdrew because of illness.

Osaka had been scheduled to face Olga Danilovic of Serbia in the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Instead, the U.S. Tennis Association moved the match between women’s No. 12 seed Simona Halep and Kristina Kucova into that spot.

Osaka would have been going for her 17th straight victory in a Grand Slam match. After missing Wimbledon during a mental health break, she returned to the majors with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Marie Bouzkova on Monday night.

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The two-time U.S. Open champion hasn’t lost a Grand Slam match since Coco Gauff beat her at the 2020 Australian Open.

The 17-year-old Gauff was set for one of the featured matches of the day, facing 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens under the lights at Ashe.

Halep cruises past Kucova

Simona Halep is into the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time since 2016.

The No. 12 seed rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kristina Kucova at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where their match was moved after Naomi Osaka’s opponent withdrew from their scheduled match.

Halep has won two Grand Slam titles but struggled at the U.S. Open. She lost in the first round in consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018 and hadn’t gone past the second round since reaching the quarter-finals in 2016.

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She completed her victory under the closed roof while play was suspended again on the outer courts after rain returned.

Muguruza, Jabeur advance with quick victories

Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur had quick victories to reach the third round of the U.S. Open.

The ninth-seeded Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2. She could next face No. 18 seed Victoria Azarenka, who reached her third U.S. Open final last year.

The 20th-seeded Jabeur routed Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-1 in 53 minutes.

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