Naomi Osaka suffered a first-round loss at the Abu Dhabi Open to Danielle Collins after the Japanese's collapse late in the first set completely changed the rhythm of the match.
Early in the match, there wasn't much separating four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka and 2022 Australian Open finalist Collins. But then, Collins won the last nine games of the match to seal a 7-5 6-0 win over Osaka and book a round-of-16 meeting against Elena Rybakina.
After going 1-2 in her first two post-pregnancy tournaments in Australia, Osaka wasn't very happy with her results and she took an Abu Dhabi wildcard hoping to bounce back in the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately for Osaka, not only that she didn't manage to do well in Abu Dhabi, but she ended up picking up a very disappointing and frustrating loss.
How Osaka lost to Collins?
Through the opening 10 games of the match, not a single break point was seen. Then, Osaka missed out on two game points in the 11th game as Collins managed to break the former world No. 1 for a 6-5 lead. In the following game, Osaka put up a big fight but didn't manage to get the break back as Collins realized her fourth set point to successfully serve out for the first set.
After losing the first set in a pretty brutal way, Osaka got broken to love in the opening game of the second set. However, Osaka had a good chance to get the break back instantly in the following game, but she didn't convert any of her three break point chances.
After failing to get the break back, Osaka lost her serve once again as Collins went 3-0 up in the second set. Down by a set and two breaks, Osaka had a great chance to at least get one break back but missed out on three consecutive break points opportunities in the fourth game as Collins managed to survive a tricky game and open a 4-0 lead.
From that moment on, there was no coming back for Osaka, who dropped her serve again in the fifth game before Collins put an end to the match in the sixth game.
After winning the first three meetings against Collins, Osaka has now ended on the losing in their last two matches.