Mutua Madrid Open: Karolina Muchova halts Naomi Osaka's clay campaign



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Mutua Madrid Open: Karolina Muchova halts Naomi Osaka's clay campaign

Karolina Muchova posted the biggest upset of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday. The Czech ousted second seed Naomi Osaka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in an hour and 49 minutes to reach the third round. Osaka whose struggles with clay are well-documented fell behind an early break to her opponent in the opening set.

Muchova held to her lead long enough to capture the set. Although the Japanese player levelled the match in the second set, the third set was yet again a one-way street in favour of Muchova. Speaking about her performance in the post-match press conference, Muchova said, “It was a tough match today, but we had some preparation.

I was ready to play with all I had today and to use all the weapons I could and [do] what I can. I'm definitely happy it worked out today”. In the round-of-16, she will play 16th seed Maria Sakkari. The Greek defeated Anett Kontaveit in their round-of-32 clash 6-3, 6-1.

Mutua Madrid Open: Karolina Pliskova routed

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova posted the other biggest upset of the day. The Russian ousted sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-5 in their second-round clash. Pliskova’s unforced error count was more than twice as many as that of her winners – 28 to 13 – even as her opponent finished with 20 winners and 14 unforced errors.

In her on-court interview, talking about the match, Pavlyuchenkova noted, “Of course it’s a nice bonus to win the match, that’s what we play for, but I’m just happy overall with the way I’m playing.

I’m building the confidence hopefully for the next matches and the next tournaments”. Pavlyuchenkova’s next opponent will be the 11th-seeded Jennifer Brady. Brady defeated Jelena Ostapenko in their second-round match 6-2, 6-1.

Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula will vie for a place in the last eight. The Belarusian dominated Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-3 to make it through to the third round. Pegula, meanwhile, received a walkover from 12th seed Victoria Azarenka who was forced to pull out of the tournament with a lower-back injury.

The last round-of-16 meeting in the bottom half of the Mutua Madrid Open has been set between 13th seed Elise Mertens and third seed Simona Halep. The Belgian won against Elena Rybakina 7-6(4), 7-5. The two-time former champion in the Spanish capital ousted Saisai Zheng 6-0, 6-4.