Osaka could meet Sabalenka, Barty face Pliskova in US Open semis

Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, was seeded third and could play Germany's Angelique Kerber in the fourth round before a possible quarter-final against Ukraine sixth seed Elina Svitolina.

Japan's Naomi Osaka. Picture: @CincyTennis/Twitter

NEW YORK - Defending champion Naomi Osaka could meet second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a US Open semi-final while top-ranked Ashleigh Barty might have a Wimbledon final rematch with Karolina Pliskova under a women's draw revealed Thursday.

Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, was seeded third and could play Germany's Angelique Kerber in the fourth round before a possible quarter-final against Ukraine sixth seed Elina Svitolina.

The Japanese star, who pulled out of the French Open and skipped Wimbledon citing mental health issues, might then meet Belarus' Sabalenka, a semi-finalist last month at Wimbledon, or Czech eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova, this year's French Open winner.

The opposite half of the draw features top seed Barty, coming off a second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, facing a possible quarter-final against Polish seventh seed Iga Swiatek.

If Barty reached the final four, she could see Czech fourth seed Pliskova in a rematch of the Wimbledon final or Canadian sixth seed Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion who skipped last year's New York hardcourt showdown.

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