May 14, 2021

Sports Legend

Osaka abandoned by Muchova in second round of Madrid Open


FILE – Naomi Osaka of Japan watches during her women’s singles fourth round match against Elise Mertens of Belgium on Day 8 of the 2021 Miami Open presented by Itaú at Hard Rock Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Miami Gardens , in Florida. Mark Brown / Getty Images / AFP (Photo by Mark Brown / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Naomi Osaka suffered a second-round exit at the Madrid Open on Sunday as the second-seeded Japanese lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Karolina Muchova.

Osaka, the reigning Australian and US Open champion, has won seven career titles on hard court but has never managed to lift a trophy on clay.

Playing her first clay court event since the 2019 French Open, Osaka beat compatriot Misaki Doi in the first round, but fell to an opponent making her top 20 debut this week.

Muchova, who has reached the last four games in Melbourne this year, used a single break of service to win the opening set against the world number two.

Osaka, a quarter-finalist at Madrid two years ago, lost 3-1 in the second set, but rallied to win the next five games and force a decider.

Muchova regrouped and beat Osaka early in the third set, then again for a 5-1 lead, before sealing the victory in just under two hours.

The Czech will meet Greece’s 16th seed Maria Sakkari or Estonia Anett Kontaveit for a place in the quarter-finals.

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