- U.S. Open (tennis championships)
- 全米オープン（テニスの世界４大大会 (Grand Slam) の一つ）
- dig oneself a deficit
- lift one's game
- pull away
- trail by ～
- wind (→wound) up winning
- quarter of a century
- intent on ... championship
- to be sure
- call attention to ～
- racial injustice
- 【写真説明】 defeat ～
In the early going of the U.S. Open final on Sept. 12, a surprisingly off-kilter Osaka Naomi kept missing shots and digging herself a deficit. Until, suddenly, she lifted her game, and 31-year-old Victoria Azarenka of Belarus couldn't sustain her lead. By the end, Osaka pulled away to a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory for her second women's singles U.S. Open championship and third Grand Slam title overall.
"For me, I just thought, it would be very embarrassing to lose this in under an hour," said Osaka, who trailed by a set.
"I wasn't really thinking about winning. I was just thinking about competing," Osaka added.
It worked, and Osaka added to her triumphs at the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open. The last time a woman who lost the first set of a U.S. Open final wound up winning was over a quarter of a century ago, when Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain did it against Germany's Steffi Graf in 1994.
Osaka, 22, was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father; the family moved to the U.S. when she was 3.
Osaka, now based in California, arrived for the U.S. Open intent on claiming the championship, to be sure. But she had another goal in mind, as well: continuing to be a voice for change by calling attention to racial injustice.
She showed up for the final wearing a black mask with white lettering spelling out the name of Tamir Rice, a Black 12-year-old boy killed by police in Ohio in 2014. It was the seventh mask she'd worn during the tournament, each honoring a different Black victim of violence.
"The point is to make people start talking," Osaka explained. "I wanted more people to (see) more names."
Osaka and her coach, Wim Fissette — who used to work with Azarenka — have said they think her off-court activism has helped her energy and mindset in matches. (AP)
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