Naomi Osaka out of US Open, loses to Leylah Fernandez

Naomi Osaka struggled throughout in a tight match against unseeded Leylah Fernandez.

Defending U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka lost in the third round to Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, 7-5, 6-7, 4-6, on Friday night.

Fernandez got the better of Osaka 7-2 in the second set tiebreaker and then broke the No. 3 seed’s serve early in the third. Osaka struggled with Fernandez’s left-handed serve throughout the match.

Osaka had not played since exiting in the third round at the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the Olympic flame at the end of the Opening Ceremony. She defeated Marie Bouzkova in the first round and then received a walkover in the second round when Olga Danilovic withdrew because of illness.

Fernandez, 18, is currently ranked No. 73 and achieved her highest ranking of No. 66 earlier this summer. This is the first time she’s made the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

When asked after the match when she knew she had an opportunity to beat Osaka, Fernandez declared, “From the very beginning.”

Fernandez, who defeated Ana Konjah in the first round and Kaia Kanepi in the second round, will face No. 16 Angelique Kerber of Germany on Sunday.

The No. 3 seed on the men’s side, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, also lost to an unseeded 18-year-old, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, earlier on Friday.