Defending champion Naomi Osaka returned to the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday when her opponent withdrew because of illness.
Osaka had been scheduled to face Olga Danilovic of Serbia in the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Instead, the U.S. Tennis Association moved the match between women’s No. 12 seed Simona Halep and Kristina Kucova into that spot.
Osaka would have been going for her 17th straight victory in a Grand Slam match. After missing Wimbledon during a mental health break, she returned to the majors with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Marie Bouzkova on Monday night.
The two-time U.S. Open champion hasn’t lost a Grand Slam match since Coco Gauff beat her at the 2020 Australian Open.
Halep cruises past Kucova
Simona Halep is into the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time since 2016.
Halep has won two Grand Slam titles but struggled at the U.S. Open. She lost in the first round in consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018 and hadn’t gone past the second round since reaching the quarter-finals in 2016.
She completed her victory under the closed roof while play was suspended again on the outer courts after rain returned.