Osaka stumbles before Muchova and leaves the Mutua soon

Osaka stumbles before Muchova and leaves the Mutua soon

The women’s tennis circuit continues without having a stable figure to dominate without discussion. If a few weeks ago the number one, Ashleigh Barty, fell early in Charleston before Paula Badosa, this Sunday at the Mutua Madrid Open it was the two, Naomi Osaka, quarter-finalist in 2019, who disappointed with a loss in the second round to the 20th in the ranking, Karolina Muchova. The 24-year-old Czech, debutant in the tournament, was the winner in the roller coaster that was the match: 6-4, 3-6 and 6-1 in 1h: 49. They will face Greek Maria Sakkari (16th seeded) in the round of 16, who beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit (6-3 and 6-1).

Muchova had lost to Osaka in their previous meeting, last year in Cincinnati, but took to the court without complexes and she played the Japanese face-to-face with her drive and changing directions to tickle a stout rival who sometimes suffers from lateral movements. He won the first set with a break for 2-1 that he maintained without trouble. In fact, he was close to double break a couple of times.

The second set was opened exactly the same, but when it seemed launched towards victory it falteredOsaka, who had a 4-0 record against the top-20 in 2021, came up and tied the game with a 5-0 run. In the third set, the trend changed again with a 3-0 start from Karolina, who was not dead, far from it. Little by little he was sapping Naomi’s morale and he dealt the final blow to get to 5-1 and close the victory with his serve.

Sabalenka does not fail

Aryna Sabalenka, fifth seed, had a difficult match against Russian Daria Kasatkina and did not miss. The Belarusian, a finalist last week in Stuttgart, won by a double 6-3 and could face his compatriot Victoria Azarenka in the second round if she beats the complicated American Jessica Pegula. Sabalenka had already beaten Kasatkina twice in three meetings, the last one this year in the second round of the US Open. He had never gone so far at the Mutua, in fact he lost the first exchange in 2018 and 2019.

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