Naomi Osaka wins, makes statement with Breonna Taylor mask

Naomi Osaka manufactured a statement as she walked on to the courtroom at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night.

She hopes to stick close to extensive plenty of to make 6 a lot more.

The No. four seed wore a black deal with mask that experienced Breonna Taylor’s identify on it, then went the distance to fend off Misaki Doi 6-2, five-seven, 6-2 in her very first-spherical match at the U.S. Open up.

The 2018 U.S. Open up champion said soon after the match that she has 6 a lot more masks with 6 different names on them. Taylor, the 26-year-aged black lady who was shot and killed by law enforcement in Louisville in March, was the very first as Osaka tries to hold the struggle for racial equality and social justice in the highlight. She will get to use all 6 if she reaches the remaining, using the very first action Monday night.

“It’s fairly unhappy that 7 masks is not plenty of for the quantity of names,” Osaka said in an on-courtroom interview. “Hopefully I’ll get to the finals and you can see all of them.”

Naomi Osaka
Naomi OsakaAP

It came times soon after Osaka declared she would withdraw from the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open up to be part of other athletes in the NBA and MLB who were sitting down out games. The match was inevitably put on maintain for a day, but Osaka said on social media she was “sick” of looking at black persons currently being killed by law enforcement.

“Before I am [an] athlete, I am a black lady,” Osaka, a native of Japan, tweeted. “And as a black lady I come to feel as even though there are significantly a lot more crucial issues at hand that have to have immediate attention, rather than watching me participate in tennis.”

Osaka inevitably gained the semifinal but withdrew from the remaining due to the fact of a hamstring pressure.

The injury did not visibly harm her Monday night, but she essential all three sets to stay clear of the upset by the unseeded Doi.

“It was quite tough and I type of envisioned it due to the fact very first-spherical nerves and also she’s a quite tough opponent,” said Osaka, who will deal with Camila Giorgi in the 2nd spherical. “So I realized there was a likelihood it would get genuinely extensive. I just have to see what occurs tomorrow and how I come to feel.

“The leg felt rather superior. It was nevertheless a minor little bit sore but it felt rather superior these days. In the course of the match, it gradually got a minor little bit worse. I come to feel like there’s some recovery time I’m missing that I wish I could get back, but for the most portion, I’m taking care of.”