Berlin: Naomi Osaka fails to get revenge over Zheng Qinwen, debut ends in first round

Osaka suffered a three-set defeat to Zheng in the Berlin first round.

by Dzevad Mesic
Berlin: Naomi Osaka fails to get revenge over Zheng Qinwen, debut ends in first round
© Getty Images Sport - Inaki Esnaola

Naomi Osaka's Berlin debut ended in the first round after the four-time Grand Slam champion suffered a three-set loss to No. 6 seed Zheng Qinwen. 

Zheng, this year's Australian Open finalist, handed Osaka a 6-4 3-6 6-3 loss in the opening match of Tuesday's schedule at the Steffi Graf Stadium to set up a round-of-16 meeting against Katerina Siniakova.

For Osaka, this was her second loss to world No. 8 Zheng in just over a month - she was also beaten by the Chinese tennis star in straight sets at the Rome Open in mid-May. 

After that match, Osaka said she was mentally impacted by knowing she was playing against a top-10 player for the first time in her comeback and vowed to do better next time. 

While Osaka was able to win a set against Zheng this time, she again ended on the losing side.

How Zheng beat Osaka?

After the first four games went without a single break point on either side, Zheng earned the first break point of the match in the fifth game and realized it to go 3-2 up. With Zheng leading 5-3 and Osaka serving to stay in the first set, the Chinese tennis star had two set points but didn't convert them as the Japanese managed to survive for at least another game.

However, Zheng didn't panic after missing out on two set points as she routinely served out for the first set in the 10th game.

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen© Getty Images Sport - Inaki Esnaola

Down by a set, Osaka finally earned her first break point of the match in the second game - but didn't convert it. However, Osaka kept pressing Zheng and she finally managed to get her first break of the match in the sixth game to open a 4-2 lead.

Up by a break, Osaka then routinely held on to her serve for the remainder of the match to send the match into a third set.

When the third set started, Zheng was able to mentally leave the second set behind her and break Osaka in the fourth game to go up by an early break in the decider and then served her way into the Berlin round-of-16.

Naomi Osaka