Naomi Osaka has ‘clay courtroom plan’ regardless of second spherical defeat to Karolina Muchova-Sports activities Information , Alenz
Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, has seven profession hard-court titles, however has by no means managed to elevate a clay- courtroom trophy.
Madrid: Naomi Osaka mentioned she has a greater plan for dealing with clay after she suffered a second-round exit on the Madrid Open on Sunday, the Japanese second seed shedding 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Karolina Muchova.
Elsewhere, two-time Madrid champion Simona Halep held off a late fightback from China’s Zheng Saisai to win 6-0, 6-4 however Victoria Azarenka is out, after she withdrew from her second spherical match towards Jessica Pegula with a again damage.
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.
Enjoying her first clay-court occasion because the 2019 French Open, Osaka beat compatriot Misaki Doi within the first spherical, however she got here unstuck towards Muchova, who’s making her prime 20 debut this week.
“I’ve a reasonably optimistic outlook on it,” mentioned Osaka after the match.
“I can management my angle and the way laborious I fought and for me, I assumed I did that actually properly.
“Bodily I do not suppose I received drained. I simply made some fairly dangerous selections point-wise in actually essential moments.
“So I feel I will study from that, and hopefully – I do not actually need to play her on clay anymore – however possibly subsequent time we play, I will make higher selections.
“I am actually proud of how I used to be capable of discuss with my staff after I misplaced and after I got here off the courtroom. I feel we actually have a plan now, so I feel it is good.”
Osaka is bidding to win a 3rd consecutive main title on the French Open subsequent month however has by no means beforehand made it previous the third spherical in Paris.
“These tournaments are known as warm-up tournaments and naturally all of us come right here to win and do properly at these tournaments too, however I would favor to peak on the French versus successful this match after which sort of going downhill,” Osaka mentioned.
Muchova beat three prime 20 gamers, together with world primary Ashleigh Barty, en path to the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this 12 months and she will be able to now add world quantity two Osaka to her rising listing of scalps.
“I used to be making an attempt to maneuver her as a lot as attainable,” Muchova mentioned.
“That was the tactic. It sounds straightforward however she’s enjoying actually quick so it isn’t that straightforward on the courtroom.
“Within the second set particularly, she began to be very aggressive. I received 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 manner.”
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 subsequent 5 video games and drive 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 via to the final 16 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Daria Kasatkina.
Sabalenka will face Pegula, following Azarenka’s withdrawal.
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