Naomi Osaka advances at US Open after opponent withdraws

NEW YORK — Defending champion Naomi Osaka advanced to the third round at the US Open on Wednesday following the withdrawal of her second-round opponent, Olga Danilovic.

Danilovic, a qualifier who is ranked No. 145, wrote on social media that she had “a non-Covid related viral illness.”

The tournament could be filled with changes and delays Wednesday as heavy rain, occasional thunderstorms and the potential for flooding are in the forecast. Only two courts, Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadium, have roofs. Play did start on the outside courts Wednesday after they were dried following morning rain.

Among the winners Wednesday were Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur, who both reached the third round with quick victories.

The ninth-seeded Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2 and could next face No. 18 seed Victoria Azarenka, who reached her third US Open final last year. The 20th-seeded Jabeur routed Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-1 in 53 minutes.

Osaka-Danilovic had been scheduled for the first match of the day on Ashe. The match between No. 12 seed Simona Halep and Kristina Kucova was moved to Ashe as a replacement.

Osaka has twice won the US Open title, in 2018 and 2020. She is seeking her fifth major title in New York and will next play the winner of Wednesday’s Leylah Fernandez– Kaia Kanepi match for a spot in the fourth round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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