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Serena melaju, Osaka makin dekat ke nomor satu dunia

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Serena Williams mengawali pertandingan pemanasan pertamanya menghadapi US Open dengan penampilan yang solid, dengan meraih kemenangan 6-3, 6-3 atas petenis Elise Mertens, sementara petenis Jepang Naomi Osaka selangkah lagi mendekat untuk merebut kembali posisi nomor satu dunia, dengan mencapai babak 16 besar turnamen Rogers Cup di Toronto pada Rabu (Kamis WIB).

Petenis AS Williams yang tiga kali juara turnamen tersebut dan sedang bermain pada pertandingan pertamanya sejak dikalahkan Simona Halep pada final Wimbledon, memadukan kekuatan yang menjadi ciri khasnya dengan pergerakan cepat dan aliran stabil dari servis kerasnya untuk mengatasi Mertens asal Belgia.

"Senang rasanya. Jelas terasa berbeda karena saya tidak banyak bermain di lapangan keras tahun ini, tapi rasanya senang bisa kembali ke sini,” kata Williams mengenai kembali bermainnya di lapangan tanah keras, seperti dikutip Reuters.

Williams ingin mendapatkan lebih banyak pertandingan di lapangan keras sebelum berlaga untuk mencetak penyamaan rekor 24 gelar Grand Slam di US Open pada 26 Agustus - 8 September.

Setelah awal pertandingan yang biasa saja, Williams meningkatkan intensitas dalam service game yang diwarnai empat deuce dan berlangsung lama, yang dia tuntaskan dengan sebuah ace yang keras untuk unggul 4-3. Setelah itu dia bisa mengatur irama selama sisa 75 menit pertandingan tersebut. Dia memenangi enam dari tujuh gim terakhir untuk mengamankan kemenangan.

Pada pertandingan selanjutnya Williams akan menghadapi petenis kualifikasi Rusia Ekaterina Alexandrova pada babak 16 besar dan sebuah kemenangan akan merancang potensi pertemuan perempat final dengan juara US Open Naomi Osaka, yang akan menjadi pertemuan pertama mereka sejak final kontroversial di New York tahun lalu.

Sebelumnya, petenis Jepang unggulan kedua Osaka memenangi set pertama melawan Tatjana Maria 6-2 dan melaju saat lawannya yang asal Jerman itu tidak dapat melanjutkan pertandingan.

"Saya pikir saya bermain sangat bagus meskipun kenyataannya kami hanya bermain satu set," kata Osaka. “Saya senang bahwa ini pertandingan pertama saya dalam beberapa saat dan saya dapat masuk ke alur permainan dengan cepat."

Dengan mencapai babak 16 besar, Osaka akan menggeser petenis Australia Ash Barty, yang kalah pada babak kedua Selasa lalu, dari posisi nomor satu dunia pekan depan, meskipun Karolina Pliskova juga memiliki peluang yang sama untuk merebut kembali posisi nomor satu dunia jika dia mencapai semifinal.

Petenis Ceko unggulan ketiga itu mengalahkan petenis kualifikasi Amerika Serikat Alison Riske 6-4 6-7(4) 6-2 dan selanjutnya akan menghadapi petenis Estonia Anett Kontaveit, yang mengalahkan Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 3-1 saat petenis Spanyol itu tidak dapat melanjutkan pertandingan karena cedera pinggul.

Pewarta: Irwan SuhirwandiEditor: Endang SukarelawatiCOPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2019

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