Naomi Osaka is banishing the “bittersweet” memories of last month’s US Open triumph with a ruthless display at the China Open on Tuesday.
The young Japanese star thrashed unseeded American Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-0 in just 53 minutes on Beijing’s outside hard courts to stroll into round three.
The 20-year-old Osaka, whose maiden Grand Slam was overshadowed by Serena Williams’s row with the chair umpire in New York, faces 10th seed Julia Goerges next in the Chinese capital.
Osaka’s reputation is growing fast and organisers on Tuesday said that she has booked her place in the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore for the first time.
But the world number six has appeared to struggle with the fall-out from the tempestuous final at the US Open, where Williams branded chair umpire Carlos Ramos “a thief” and later accused him of sexism.
“For me, I don’t know, I don’t know, the memory of the US Open is a little bit bittersweet,” Osaka said on Monday.
“Right after, the day after, I really didn’t want to think about it because it wasn’t necessarily the happiest memory for me.”