Giant-killer praises Aussie coach
TENNIS: Giant killer Naomi Osaka paid tribute to Samantha Stosur’s former coach, David Taylor, after she crushed defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-1 in the first round at the US Open.
Taylor guided Stosur to the title at Flushing Meadow in 2011, but has now taken the Japanese teenager (pictured) under his wing.
“He talks to me a lot about positivity because I tend to be really negative on myself and to the point where I don’t really know what I’m doing anymore,” Osaka said.
“He’s helped me with my serve and my forehand ... If I were to say everything he helped me with, it would take a lot of time.”
Taylor, a former captain of Australia’s Fed Cup team, believes “the sky’s the limit” for Osaka.
“She’s got the game,” he said. “She can hold serve and she can break serve.”
Osaka ensured German Kerber became the first defending champion to exit in the opening round since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.
The result completed a dramatic fall from grace for Kerber, who will slip out of the world’s top 10 after replacing Serena Williams as No.1 in March.
There were no such worries for men’s No.1 Rafael Nadal, who defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-2.
Roger Federer was made to work for his victory – a five-set thriller – against young Frances Tiafoe.
Rain, meanwhile, meant Aussie No.1s Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova had to wait until this morning to begin their campaigns. Kyrgios was taking on countryman John Millman.
Ash Barty, Arina Rodionova and Ajla Tomljanovic were all due to play their second-round matches also this morning.