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US Open: Britain’s Lily Miyazaki beautifully defeats Margarita Betova to make it through to the second round 2023

On her US Open debut, British qualifier Lily Miyazaki has claimed her first Grand Slam victory, advancing to the second round where she will face Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. This exciting match can be watched live on Sky Sports Tennis, as the final Grand Slam of the year takes place in New York.

Miyazaki’s Impressive Victory

Lily Miyazaki, ranked as the world No. 199, displayed exceptional prowess on Monday as she secured a straight-set win against Margarita Betova. The 27-year-old Japanese-born Brit’s triumph serves as a significant milestone, considering her previous major appearance was as a wild card at the 2022 Wimbledon, where she unfortunately lost in the first round.

 

The Journey to Success

Emulating Emma Raducanu’s inspiring journey from two years prior, Miyazaki successfully navigated through the qualifiers to secure her spot in the main draw. Her hard work paid off as she emerged victorious in a dominant performance against the Russian player, Betova, with a score of 6-3, 6-3.

Miyazaki’s Feelings of Pride

Expressing her elation, Miyazaki shared, “I’m kind of lost for words right now. Coming into this tournament I didn’t expect to be at this stage, so I’m just really happy and proud of myself.” The experience gained during the qualifying rounds proved invaluable, providing her with both a competitive edge and a sense of comfort under the tournament’s conditions.

Reflecting on her nervousness during the match, Miyazaki credits her qualifying experience for guiding her through the pressure. She elaborated, “Today I felt a bit nervous and didn’t feel like I was playing great, but I think my experience from qualifying helped me.” Her previous appearance at Wimbledon prepared her to handle her emotions effectively, empowering her to view each match as just another opportunity for growth.

Overcoming a Challenging Opponent

Miyazaki faced off against Margarita Betova, a seasoned player who returned to professional tennis after giving birth and was playing under a protected ranking. Despite Betova’s experience, the determined Brit managed to rally and regain control after an early break. Demonstrating her resilience, she went on to secure six consecutive games, ultimately clinching victory.

Honing her skills since moving to London at the age of 10, Miyazaki made the decision to represent Britain just last year, and her progress continues to impress. Her win at the US Open serves as a crucial milestone, propelling her to a career-high provisional ranking of 153rd and cementing her position as the fourth highest-ranked British player.

The Future Matchup: Miyazaki vs. Bencic

With her remarkable victory, Miyazaki now gears up to face tough competition in the second round against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. Acknowledging the upcoming challenge, Miyazaki remarked, “It’s going to be a tough match for sure. But I guess the good thing is I’ve seen her play plenty of times, and she probably doesn’t know much about me.”

Recounting her early encounters with Bencic during her time in Switzerland, Miyazaki nostalgically reflected, “When I lived in Switzerland, I played her when I was about nine years old and she must have been about seven or eight.” She observed Bencic’s exceptional skills even at such a young age, noting her ability to take the ball early and execute impressive shots.

Anticipating a demanding match, Miyazaki expects Bencic to bring her A-game. However, with her tenacity and drive, she remains hopeful of her own prospects. This anticipated clash promises to be a remarkable display of athletic prowess by both players, captivating audiences around the world.

Stay tuned as Lily Miyazaki continues to make her name known on the grand stage of the US Open, showcasing her strength, skill, and determination.

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