Gi­ant-killer praises Aussie coach

The Observer - - SPORT DIGEST -

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.

PHOTO: FRANK FRANKLIN II/AAP

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