• Kyodo

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Naomi Osaka was handed a tough first-round encounter in the upcoming U.S. Open on Friday as she begins her Grand Slam campaign against world No. 6 and defending champion Angelique Kerber of Germany.

The 19-year-old Osaka, who made a third-round exit last year, was drawn against the sixth seed in her opening women’s singles match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, while her compatriot Misaki Doi will face the 23rd-seeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic.

In men’s singles, Yuichi Sugita will meet Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France in another first-round match, while Taro Daniel will face American Tommy Paul.

Kurumi Nara, Nao Hibino, Risa Ozaki and Misa Eguchi will also be competing in the tournament, which starts on Monday. Kei Nishikori withdrew earlier this month due to a right wrist injury.

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