Naomi Osaka overcame nerves to survive a tense 3-set match against 84th ranked Anna Blinkova as she starts the defense of her US Open championship.
Osaka, 21, defeated Serena Williams last year to win the title, but opened this year’s tournament struggling with Blinkova en route to a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory.
“I felt nervous; for me, it’s definitely a new feeling,” Osaka said (h/t ESPN).
“It was consistent throughout the entire match, which was very strange for me. … It never really went away.”
“You kind of want to do well after you did well last year,” Osaka said, when asked why she felt so many jitters while trailing 3-0 and 4-1 at the outset. “I just definitely didn’t want to lose in the first round.”
“I really didn’t expect myself to play amazing today.”
Only two US Open women’s champions have lost in the first round the following year during the professional era, and Osaka avoided becoming the third by inching out the first round victory.
“It helps me a lot, because I learn from the tougher matches,” Osaka said. “It helps me be prepared and try to learn and adjust my game plan.”
Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith Expecting Second Child
Phoenix Mercury star Skylar Diggins-Smith is pregnant and expecting her second child, according to an official announcement from the WNBA star during a post on her Instagram page issued on Monday.
“New addition loading,” Diggins-Smith wrote in the post.
During the latter part of the last season, the Mercury announced that Diggins-Smith would not return to the WNBA this past season due to “personal reasons”, which ultimately levied a partial season suspension of her contract. Diggins-Smith previously missed the 2019 WNBA season, while she was playing for the Dallas Wings, who initially drafted her with the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft.
Blue Bombers Sign Zach Collaros to Contract Extension
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed veteran quarterback Zach Collaros to a three-year contract extension through the 2025 season, which will prevent him from hitting free agency in February, according to an official team announcement on Tiuesday.
Collaros, 34, has been vital to the Bombers success, and has been a part of back-to-back Grey Cups with the team, and who was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player last season.
Collaros landed in Winnipeg during the 2019, when the Bombers acquired him via trade with the Toronto Argonauts.
Collaros has thrown for a career-high 4,115 yards with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this season.
Elks Announces Taylor Cornelius Hospitalized with Spleen Injury
The Edmonton Elks have officially announced that quarterback Taylor Cornelius suffered a spleen injury during Saturday’s loss to the Toronto Argonauts and was hospitalized that evening, according to TSN.
The Elks announced on Twitter that Cornelius will miss their final game of the season when they take on the BC Lions. With Cornelius out, the Elks will turn to Tre Ford to take over the starting signal caller duties.
Additionally, Cornelius, 27, is still in hospital for observation, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Edmonton has a league-worst 4-12 record, with no home wins this season.
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