Naomi Osaka. (AP Photograph)
MADRID: Naomi Osaka suffered a second-round exit on the Madrid Open on Sunday because the Japanese second seed misplaced 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Karolina Muchova.
Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, has seven profession hard-court titles, however has by no means managed to elevate a clay-court trophy.
Taking part in her first clay-court occasion because the 2019 French Open, Osaka beat compatriot Misaki Doi within the first spherical, however she got here unstuck in opposition to an opponent making her high 20 debut this week.
“I used to be able to play with all I had at this time, and to make use of all of the weapons I might,” Muchova stated. “I am positively comfortable it labored out.”
Muchova beat three high 20 gamers, together with world primary Ashleigh Barty, en path to the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this yr and she will be able to now add world quantity two Osaka to her rising listing of scalps.
“I used to be attempting to maneuver her as a lot as attainable,” Muchova stated. “That was the tactic. It sounds straightforward however she’s taking part in actually quick so it isn’t that straightforward on the court docket.
“Within the second set particularly, she began to be very aggressive. I acquired again to what I did within the first set within the third set, and once more, tried to maneuver her left, proper, dropshots, however nonetheless in a quick method.”
Muchova used a single break of serve to assert the opening set earlier than Osaka, a quarter-finalist at Madrid two years in the past, fell 3-1 behind within the second however rallied to win the following 5 video games and pressure a decider.
Muchova regrouped and broke Osaka early within the third set, after which once more for a 5-1 lead, earlier than sealing victory in just below two hours.
The Czech will meet Greek sixteenth seed Maria Sakkari, who brushed apart Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-1.
Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka additionally made it by way of to the final 16 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Daria Kasatkina.