Sport: Barty on course for top ranking after Osaka retires in Cincy as US Open looms - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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SportBarty on course for top ranking after Osaka retires in Cincy as US Open looms

17:35  17 august  2019
17:35  17 august  2019 Source:   performgroup.com

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Osaka only herself reclaimed top spot by reaching the last eight at the Rogers Cup, but defeat to Sofia Kenin at the same stage in Cincinnati would open the door for Barty . And the Japanese star, having battled back after losing the first set, taking the second 6-1, was forced to retire at the WTA Premier

But the US Open alarm bells were ringing for Osaka less than two weeks before the start of her title defense at Flushing Meadows after a left knee injury French Open champion Barty will play for a place in the final against Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat third seed Karolina Pliskova

Barty on course for top ranking after Osaka retires in Cincy as US Open looms © Getty Images Australian star Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty is one win away from returning to the top of the WTA rankings after world number one Naomi Osaka retired in the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals.

Osaka only herself reclaimed top spot by reaching the last eight at the Rogers Cup, but defeat to Sofia Kenin at the same stage in Cincinnati would open the door for Barty.

And the Japanese star, having battled back after losing the first set, taking the second 6-1, was forced to retire at the WTA Premier event on Friday.

Barty on course for top ranking after Osaka retires in Cincy as US Open looms © Getty Images CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 16: Naomi Osaka (JPN) looks at the scoreboard during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16th, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Osaka had required treatment to a knee injury and finally retired after being broken early in the third set.

Ash Barty loses her world No. 1 ranking to Japanese star Naomi Osaka after Canadian Open defeat

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Osaka retired from her quarterfinal match at the Western & Southern Open on Friday, unsure what's going on in the knee. She expected to get an MRI. During her run to the semifinals in Toronto, she knocked off then-No. 1 Ashleigh Barty , an upset that allowed Osaka to move up to the top ranking .

Naomi Osaka began retired from her quarterfinal match at the Western & Southern Open , unsure what's going on in the knee. Ashleigh Barty , of Australia, serves to Maria Sakkari, of Greece, during the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug.

Barty will now unseat Osaka if she advances to the final, having reached the last four with a stunning comeback victory over Maria Sakkari 5-7 6-2 6-0.

Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova's own hopes of reaching the summit – a possibility if Barty also fell by the wayside – ended as she crashed out to Svetlana Kuznetsova in another three-set contest.

Every WTA world number one (USA Today Sports)


BARTY FOCUSED ON TOURNAMENT SUCCESS

The ranking might be on the line for Barty, but she is happy to set that aside and focus on going as far as possible in Cincinnati.

"I'm just keeping my eye on the ball and, if I win matches, the ranking will take care of itself," she said after her win.

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Ashleigh Barty held off Anett Kontaveit as the Estonian served for victory before the Cincinnati top seed scraped a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory on Thursday to The win keeps the Australian in the chase for a possible return to the WTA number one ranking which she lost to Naomi Osaka on the eve of this US

Barty , the Australian top seed, engineered her second comeback in as many days, overhauling Osaka 's injury rings alarm bells with her defense of her US Open title coming up in less than two With the knee heavily taped Osaka played one more game before packing it in and sending Kenin to

"We're excited to be in new territory here in Cincy."

Kuznetsova awaits the Australian and French Open champion.

OSAKA WORRIED AFTER BOWING OUT

It was not a good day for reigning US Open champion Osaka.

Osaka retired with a leg injury against Kenin, handing Barty the chance to return to the WTA summit.

It also means Osaka is under an injury cloud ahead of the US Open at Flushing Meadows, where she stunned Serena Williams last year.

"It sucks, especially since I didn't want to get injured this close to the Open," Osaka said. "And now I'm kind of worried a little bit.

"She was playing well. I had to really think about what I had to do during the match, so I'm not that mad at the result. The injured part sucks, but losing, it's not that big of a deal."

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Ashleigh Barty edged closer to a return to the top WTA ranking on Friday, reaching the WTA semi-finals as current number one But the US Open alarm bells were ringing for Osaka less than two weeks before the start of her title defense at Flushing Meadows after a left knee injury saw her retire

Barty reached the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open for the first time and moved closer to regaining the No. 1 world ranking Friday "Still not quite there, but we 're getting better and better each match, " Barty said. Top - ranked Novak Djokovic plays the final match Friday against Lucas Pouille.

KUZNETSOVA WINS THRILLER AGAINST PLISKOVA

Two-time grand slam champion Kuznetsova outlasted third seed Pliskova 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to reach the final four.

Kuznetsova was down a set with Pliskova serving for the match but the Russian rallied thanks to 30 winners and six aces in the gruelling two hour, 23-minute clash.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys vanquished seven-time major champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-3 to set up a semi-final with fellow American Kenin.

Wright-Phillips retires from football.
Wright-Phillips retires from football

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