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Tennis - Osaka Retires With Back Pain, Giorgi Beats Radukanu In Toronto

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Toronto — Naomi Osaka retired with back pain in the opening round, but defending champion Camila Giorgi beat Great Britain's Emma Raducanu at the Toronto Open on Tuesday.

Osaka was only in his second tournament after returning from a left Achilles injury, but in the first match of the US Open conditioning event, he beat Estonia's Kaia to his Kanepi 7-6 (4). We retired 3-0.

"I felt my back from the beginning of the match. I tried my best to push through it, but today I just couldn't do it," Osaka said. "Kudos to Kaia for playing well and wishing her luck for the rest of the tournament."

Osaka went 4-3 in the first set. Taking a medical timeout when pulled away, she seemed to move a little better and actually beat Kanepi in the two times she was serving in the opening frame. tie breaker.

Osaka spent more time working with her trainer when switching between sets, but quickly fell behind in the second and decided to end the bout.

"It's very hard for her to have to retire like this," said Kanepi, who will face Spain's eighth seed Garbine Muguruza in the second round, in an on-court interview. Told.

Her US Open champion Ladukanu led her 2-0 in the second set, but Giorgi followed her six her game with a solid return, netting her plays and moves. was secured in combination and finished brilliantly.

"It's my game, so I have to play it this way all the time, but sometimes things go wrong," Giorgi said in an interview on the court.

After the two players traded six service breaks in the first set, Giorgi flicked a switch and survived a tiebreak that ended quickly after Radukhanu's double fault.

Next for the 30-year-old Italian is Belgium's Elise Mertens, who beat Hungary's Anna Bondal 7-6 (2) 6-1.

Giorgi's game comes nearly five hours after Williams, who is also playing in his event on hard courts this week, announced plans to retire so he can focus on other things that matter to him. started later.

News of his 23-time Grand Slam champion decision dominated the topic among the players and fans in attendance.

"She's changed the sport. She's done a lot. She can bow now," said audience member Natalie Chapsett. "It's good news for her, but not for her fans. But if you look at the man behind the athlete, she deserves it."

10th seed Coco Gauff of China's Zheng. Qinwen, Belgium's Elise Mertens, Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo and Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic also advanced to the second round.

Former champion Bianca Andreescu started the evening session with No. 11 seed Daria Kasatkina, followed by Greece's No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari and Sloan against her Stephans. It is done. (Reporting by Frank Pingue of her in Toronto; additional reporting by Divya Rajagopal; editing by Pritha Sarkar)