Japanese star Osaka set to return to WTA world No 1

WASHINGTON — Japanese star Naomi Osaka will reclaim the WTA world No 1 spot for the second time in her career when the new rankings are made official next Monday.

At the ongoing Rogers Cup WTA tournament, reigning world No 1 Ashleigh Barty suffered an opening round stunner to American player Sofia Kenin, opening the door for former No 1s Osaka and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic to return to the top.

In an earlier quarterfinal match on Friday, Pliskova lost to Canadian star Bianca Andreescu 6-0, 2-6, 6-4. This meant that Osaka, who is set to take the court for her quarterfinal clash against Serena Williams — a rematch of the 2018 US Open final — has officially clinched the top spot, marking her 22nd week atop the WTA rankings.

She will end Barty’s reign at the top, after the Aussie held the No 1 ranking for seven weeks following back-to-back title runs at Roland Garros and Birmingham.

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