Naomi Osaka, the defending champion of the US Open, eliminated from this year's tournament in the fourth round by Belinda Bencic on Monday. Although Osaka is the No. 1 seed and Bencic is the . 13, it was hard to count Benchic's impressive 7-5, 6-4 victory.
She has beaten Osaka three times in their four official games, with all wins coming this year.
The danger could not have been clearer to Osaka and at Benchic's expense, she was able to give the same high-quality performance at their first Grand Slam event.
The 22-year-old Bencic of Switzerland returned to the forefront this season after wrist surgery. She is the trainer of her father Ivan, but has also received an abundance of coaching and advice over the years from Melanie Molitor, who helped shape her daughter Martina Hingis into one of the best and tactically astute players in modern history. the game.
Bencic learned her lessons well. In an age full of big servers and power base devices like Osaka and Serena Williams, she succeeds as a counter-puncher.
Monday's match was a contrast to philosophies, as Osaka tried to direct traffic with his heavy punches, while Bencic bucketily managed to divert it with his flat punches.
"She has a lot of power, I don't have that much," Bencic said. "I'm not the player to make the most winners or most aces. I try to play a little chess and anticipate and make tactics on the court. "
Bencic had 29 winners and only 12 unexpected errors in the match, six of which were double errors.
Bencic will next face No. 23 seed Donna Vekic from Croatia. This will be Benchich's second Grand Slam quarterfinal, which also reached the final eight of the US Open in 2014, when he was 17 years old.
This will be Vekic's first major quarterfinal to advance to a solid tournament on Monday. struggled with a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 win over Julia Görges of Germany.
Osaka elimination leaves Serena Williams as the only player left in the women's tournament to win a Grand Slam title in a single. Williams is 23, one short of the record of 24 held by Margaret Court.
The loss of Osaka also means that Ashley Barty of Australia will recover No. 1 in the post-open ranking.
Men's # 1, Novak Djokovic, eliminated from the tournament about 15 hours earlier on the same court when he retired in a fourth round match against Stan Vavrinka.