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Teen giant-killer pays tribute to Aussie coach Taylor

Naomi Osaka reacts after scoring a point against Angelique Kerber
Naomi Osaka reacts after scoring a point against Angelique Kerber Frank Franklin II

GIANT killer Naomi Osaka paid tribute to Samantha Stosur's former coach David Taylor after she crushed defending champion Angelique Kerber, 6-3 6-1, in the first round at the US Open.

Taylor guided Stosur to the title at Flushing Meadow in 2011, but has now taken the Japanese teenager under his wing.

Osaka ensured German Kerber became the first defending champion to exit in the opening round since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.

"He talks to me a lot about positivity because I tend to be really negative on myself and to the point where I don't really know what I'm doing anymore," Osaka said of Taylor.

"And also, he's helped me with my serve and my forehand and a lot of other stuff. If I were to say everything he helped me with, it would take a lot of time."

 

Naomi Osaka hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany on the second day of the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 29 August 2017. The US Open runs through September 10. EPA/JUSTIN LANE
Naomi Osaka hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany on the second day of the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 29 August 2017. The US Open runs through September 10. EPA/JUSTIN LANE JUSTIN LANE

Taylor, a former captain of Australia's Fed Cup team, believed the "the sky's the limit" for Osaka.

"It might take a two or three years, 'til she's 22 or so, but she's got the game," he said. "She can hold serve and she can break serve."

The result completed a dramatic fall from grace for Kerber, who will slip out of the world's top 10 after replacing Serena Williams as No.1 in March.

"Of course, you have always the goal for years of reaching the top, but then if you are there, you actually don't know what to expect, and then it's just the process," she said.

 

Angelique Kerber hits a return during her first-round loss to Naomi Osaka
Angelique Kerber hits a return during her first-round loss to Naomi Osaka JUSTIN LANE

There was no such worries for men's No.1 Rafael Nadal, who defeated Dusan Lajovic, 7-6 (6) 6-2 6-2.

Rain, meanwhile, meant Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova had to wait until tomorrow morning to begin their campaigns.

Kyrgios or his opponent, John Millman, was to give Australia at least two men in the second round with Jordan Thompson.

In-form Gavrilova was looking join Ashleigh Barty, Arina Rodionova and Ajla Tomljanovic in advancing in the women's draw. They all play tomorrow morning.

Topics:  angelique kerber david taylor naomi osaka samantha stosur us open

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