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Osaka ‘really scared’ after Saville retires with knee injury | tennis news

TOKYO: Naomi Osaka said she felt “really scared” after watching the opponent Daria Saville succumbing to a knee injury just seven minutes into their Pan Pacific Open game in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Australia’s Saville retired from their first-round encounter after hurting her left knee in a cross-court forehand in the second game of the match.
The world’s number 55 yelled “my knee” before falling to the ground in pain, and Osaka ran to her side of the field to check on her opponent.
Saville, 28, retired from the game after minutes of treatment and Osaka, who has struggled with an injury herself this year, said she was “very sad” for her opponent.
“I thought she was only screaming because she thought her forehand was out, then I realized she was screaming because she was in pain,” said the former world number one, who suffered a breakdown in Tokyo this week. to break form. .
“Then I got really scared because I felt like we as athletes have a pretty high pain tolerance. It seemed really bad.”
Saville eventually got up and walked to her chair, but she withdrew after testing her knee with several footwork exercises.
Osaka said she thought Saville would “be fine”, adding that she was “a fighter”.
Osaka, who was at breakpoint in the second game at 30-40 after her service in the first game, will play Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round on Thursday.
“At this point, it still feels a little weird that I just won a match — I feel like I didn’t win a match,” said Osaka, who has lost in the first round of her last three tournaments.
“I think I did and I’m making progress in the tournament. I’m not thinking too much about the final at the moment.”
Osaka is the defending Pan Pacific Open champion, although the tournament will be played for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Earlier in the day, 2020 Australian Open United States champion Sofia Kenin lost in the first round 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 to Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez.
Kenin also reached the final of the French Open in 2020, but she has since dropped to 315 in the world rankings after struggling with an injury.
Number six seed Karolina Pliskovaa two-time Grand Slam finalist, defeated the Bulgarian qualifier Isabella Shinikova 6-2, 6-1.

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