No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka stunned in Madrid
5/2/2021 2:38:27 PM EST
Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic stunned No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Osaka, playing in just her second match on clay since the 2019 French Open, double-faulted for an early break on her way to losing the first set. The reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champion recovered to pick up a break at 3-3 and then win out to take the second set.
Muchova got back on track in the third set, breaking Osaka on her first service game and then cruising to the victory in one hour, 49 minutes.
"It was a tough match today, but we had some preparation," Muchova said. "I was ready to play with all I had today, and to use all the weapons I could and [do] what I can. I'm definitely happy it worked out today."
Muchova, 24, now has three wins over top five players among her 10 match wins this season. Muchova rose to No. 20 in the world rankings that were released on Monday.
"It's not specific preparation if I play Top 10 players, or Top 20 or Top 50 players," Muchova said. "It's usually very similar, but I'm just trying to prepare as much as I can and as best I can, and then I just try to play my best on the court."
The 23-year-old Osaka beat Muchova in three sets in their only prior meeting (2020 Cincinnati).
Muchova's next opponent will be No. 16 Maria Sakkari of Greece, who beat Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-1.
Also falling on Sunday was No. 6 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who lost in straight sets to Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5. Pliskova finished with 28 errors and seven double faults.
In other action, No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania defeated China's Saisai Zheng 6-0, 6-4; No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus topped Russia's Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-3; and No. 11 Jennifer Brady of the U.S. beat Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-1.
No. 13 Elise Mertens of Belgium was a 7-6 (4), 7-5 winner against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina, while American Jessica Pegula advanced in a walkover as No. 12 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus pulled out with a lower back injury.
--Field Level Media
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