Osaka gets into the final with anti-racist claim

The Japanese, who had given up playing the semifinals and changed her mind, was able to beat Mertens (6-2 and 7-6 (5)). He will face Azarenka, who beat Konta (4-6, 6-4 and 6-1).

It was not easy for Naomi Osaka to face her semifinal at the Cincinnati Open after the stress caused, as she confessed, by her initial resignation from playing in protest of police violence against African Americans in the United States. The Japanese changed her mind after consulting with the WTA and with the tournament, which decided to support the global demands with the suspension of the entire day on Thursday. The fact is that Osaka beat Elise Mertens (6-2 and 7-6 (5)) this Friday and will play for the first time in the final of the event that takes place in the New York bubble, prior to the US Open.

Naomi stepped onto the track wearing a T-shirt that read the famous Black Lives Matter slogan wrapped around an upright arm with a clenched fist. And on the court she was intractable in the first set and intelligent and serene in the second. His initial dominance turned into resistance when, in a game with many breaks, in the second set he lifted up to eight break points for Mertens to get to 5-4 after a very long game and then hold on until the tiebreaker. There, the Japanese also went wrong, with 5-4 down and serve from the Belgian, but she scored three goals in a row and took the victory. In the title match, she will face Victoria Azarenka, who was able to beat Johanna Konta (4-6, 6-4 and 6-1) .

Azarenka returns to the final seven years later

Victoria Azarenka has not wavered in her efforts to return to the elite since 2018, when she resumed the competition with some continuity after being a mother. He has not won a title since Miami 2016 (he missed the one in Monterrey last year due to injury to Muguruza) and this Saturday he will have the opportunity to lift the 21st if he manages to beat Osaka. The Belarusian earned that chance by not losing faith in her match against Konta, who took the first game and threatened to close out the match in the second after twice calling a break against. But Azarenka endured and in the third set she passed over the British, who was aiming high but was left with honey on her lips again.

Experience is a grade and Azarenka was playing her 58th semi-final of a WTA tournament. Seven years after winning the Western & Southern Open against Serena Williams in a fantastic season in which she reached number one, Victoria, solid (only 12 unforced errors) and with clear ideas, will fight to add a second trophy and arrive with the Morale skyrocketing to the US Open, much to the joy of his son, Leo, whom he takes to tournaments whenever he can.

Results of the day.

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