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Sport Champions Osaka, Thiem make the most of U.S. Open adversities

00:16  15 september  2020
00:16  15 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Dominic Thiem through to US Open last-16 after beating Marin Cilic

  Dominic Thiem through to US Open last-16 after beating Marin Cilic The second seed is hoping to finally get his hands on a grand slam title after three final defeats, including a five-st loss to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open in January. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

Not if Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka endure at the top of the sport. They appear on track for just that. They appear on track for just that. Dominic Thiem of Austria won the U . S . Open on Sunday in five Perhaps the most famous athlete from Belarus, Azarenka chose not to weigh in on the tumult in What made Osaka such a star is, in large part, that she won her first major title against Williams

Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka in the United States Open final in three sets to earn her third Grand Slam tournament victory. A champion again, she made her point unmistakably on the court and off. More U . S . Open Coverage. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev Give U . S . Open a New

a woman with a racket: Tennis: US OPEN © Reuters/Danielle Parhizkaran Tennis: US OPEN

By Sudipto Ganguly

(Reuters) - Circumstances at this year's U.S. Open were extraordinary due to the COVID-19 pandemic but rather than getting deterred, champions Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem overcame them in order to fulfil their destinies.

Debate raged for months after the United States Tennis Association announced in June that the hardcourt Grand Slam would go ahead in New York, which was once the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus pandemic, albeit without any fans in attendance.

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  Dominic Thiem claims victory over Felix Augur-Aliassime at US Open Second seed Dominic Thiem edged a first-set tiebreak before turning up the heat to romp into the U.S. Open quarter-finals with a resounding 7-6(4) 6-1 6-1 victory over Felix Augur-Aliassime.Top seed Novak Djokovic's disqualification on Sunday for striking a line judge with a ball has left Thiem as one of the favourites and the Austrian gave a composed performance to reach the last eight in New York for the second time in his career.

Newly-crowned grand slam champion Dominic Thiem has dedicated his US Open triumph to his family for making "so many sacrifices" over the years in support of his career.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem on his epic comeback. 2020 US Open champion Naomi Osaka talks about her push for further awareness of the names of victims she wore on her masks, the journey to the title and using her voice moving forward.

Dominic Thiem standing on a stage holding a microphone: Tennis: US OPEN © Reuters/Danielle Parhizkaran Tennis: US OPEN

Top men's and women's players raised concerns and expressed doubts over travelling to the United States.

The organisers tried to address their concerns but also continued their preparations for the Grand Slam, putting numerous rules in place designed at mitigating health risks.

One of those was the mandatory use of face mask, which became a tool for Osaka in her activism against racial injustice in the United States.

For each of her seven matches at Flushing Meadows, Osaka walked on to the court wearing a different face mask featuring the name of a Black American who suffered racial injustice in the United States.

The only way she could ensure that the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice were once again etched into public consciousness was by making it to the final.

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  US Open 2020: Naomi Osaka trying to be in the moment in pursuit of third grand slam Japanese star and 2018 champion Naomi Osaka is making the most of her run at Flushing Meadows, where she is preparing for the semi-finals.Osaka reached the US Open semi-finals on Tuesday thanks to a 6-3 6-4 win over Shelby Rogers at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Naomi Osaka came back to beat Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3 in Saturday' s US Open final to win her third Grand Slam title.

READ MORE : 'I hope I can make him proud': US Open champion Naomi Osaka dedicates win to 'inspiring' Kobe Bryant. Belgium' s Thiem came back from two sets down to defeat Germany' s Zverev and claim one of the most incredible comeback victories in recent Grand Slam memory.

"I feel like I'm a vessel in order to spread awareness," the two-time U.S. Open winner said. "I do think it's a very big motivating factor for me just to try to get the names out to as many people as I can.

"So I'm not sure if that's giving me extra power."

While Osaka found extra power, Victoria Azarenka showed she still had enough motivation to once again claw her way back to the top echelons of the sport, reaching a Grand Slam final after seven years.

The unseeded Belarusian was also one of nine mothers in the women's singles draw this year and showed exemplary grit during her comeback victory in the semi-finals over 23-times major winner Serena Williams.

The loss, however, prolonged the American's pursuit of Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slam titles.

The wait for a first slam, however, finally ended for Thiem.

The 27-year-old had lost in three finals - twice to Rafa Nadal at the French Open and once to world number one Novak Djokovic at this year's Australian Open - and for the first two sets on Sunday he seemed like he was heading for another heartache.

Naomi Osaka is OUT of the French Open due to lingering hamstring issue

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U . S . Open champion Naomi Osaka let her masks do the talking. Subscribe today. Osaka has unique reach in that regard — inarguably a celebrity in the United States, where she spent most of her childhood and currently lives, she plays for Japan and captures an international audience as well.

Naomi Osaka defeats Victoria Azarenka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, to win the 2020 US Open women' s singles championship . Champions to Champions : Roger Federer. Saturday, September 12. Press Conference: Dominic Thiem , Semifinals. Friday, September 11.

LIFE GOAL

But he somehow managed to come back from two-sets and a break down against Alexander Zverev to crawl over the finishing line first to hoist the U.S. Open trophy.

Critics could argue that Thiem's path at Flushing Meadows was without roadblocks as he did not have to face any of the 'Big Three' of men's tennis.

With Nadal opting out due to the pandemic, Roger Federer injured and top seed Djokovic defaulted in the fourth round for hitting a line judge with a ball, the stars seemed to have aligned for Thiem.

The Austrian dutifully took his chance, ending a six-year wait for a new name on a men's Grand Slam trophy and a first winner outside the 'Big Three' since 2016.

"Definitely I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years," said Thiem.

Among its many health measures, the USTA also used automated line-calls at this year's Slam on all but its two biggest show courts to reduce the number of people at Flushing Meadows.

The experiment went smoothly and Djokovic might have wished it had been in use on Arthur Ashe Stadium too because then he would not have been disqualified for hitting a lineswoman accidentally in the throat with a ball.

What Japan won't say about Osaka's US Open win

  What Japan won't say about Osaka's US Open win Japan is celebrating Naomi Osaka's US Open win, especially her many corporate sponsors, but one thing is being ignored.But like much of Japan, they are more muted in backing — or understanding — her campaign against racial injustice in the United States. Unlike the US, Japan has relatively few immigrants and has a generally lower level of awareness about racism — even at home.

Dominic Thiem , of Austria, holds up the championship trophy after defeating Alexander Zverev, of Germany, in the US Open men' s singles final, New York A U . S . Open unlike any other finished unlike any other — with an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker as Dominic Thiem became the first man in 71

US Open champion Dominic Thiem on his epic comeback. The tennis grand slam that will be like I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they'll become in Osaka told reporters after the game that she had been "touched" by the response she had so far

That was, however, not the only controversy during the last two weeks.

Frenchman Benoit Paire was withdrawn before the tournament started after testing positive for COVID-19. Those who were deemed to have been in close contact with him had to face even stricter measures and were required to take daily virus tests -- rather than every four days as was the norm for everyone else.

Kristina Mladenovic, who was one of them, slammed the protocols and suffered more ignominy when she was pulled from the doubles tournament, where she was the top seed, as health authorities ordered her to go into quarantine.

But once the tournament started, none of the 365 competitors at the U.S. Open tested positive for the virus, underlining the efficacy of the controlled environment.

"On the moments where we perhaps thought it wasn't going to happen, the adversity was there, I remember speaking to Billie (Jean King). She said, 'Stace, remember who you serve,'" Tournament Director Stacey Allaster said.

"We're serving our sport. It's been an unbelievable privilege."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Pritha Sarkar)


Video: Thiem claims U.S. Open title after thrilling fightback (Reuters)

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