Tennis: Osaka eases through as Zverev sweats at US Open, Kvitova exits

Osaka reacts after defeating Magda Linette of Poland.
Osaka reacts after defeating Magda Linette of Poland.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Naomi Osaka continued her bid for a second straight US Open title with a business-like 6-3 6-4 win over Magda Linette on Thursday (Aug 29) to book her place in the third round.

After struggling with nerves in her gruelling first-round match, Osaka was calm and collected on Louis Armstrong Stadium court, smacking 13 winners and playing stout defence to dispatch Poland's Linette.

After a one-sided first set, trouble brewed for the world number one when Linette raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a sun-soaked court.

But the 21-year-old Japanese kept her composure and battled back, hitting a deft volley on match point to seal the win before an adoring crowd including former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick and former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant.

Next up for Osaka, is either qualifier Timea Babos or 15-year-old American wildcard Coco Gauff.