At the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, Naomi Osaka was eliminated by Karolina Muchova in three sets with the final result of 6-4 3-6 6-1, after an hour and 52 minutes of play. On clay-courts, the Czech tennis player, new top-20 of the WTA ranking, is always a difficult opponent for all rivals, especially those who struggle to play on this surface.
Osaka had won last year, again in three sets, at the Western and Souther Open 2020 played in Flushing Meadows. In the press conference she said: "Honestly I think I played a lot better than the defeat in Miami, so I'm happy with that.
I gave it my all throughout the match but there was something wrong. I was too defensive in the first set, then in the second I fixed myself. In the third I started really badly and it's something you can't afford. What was really impressive was the way it moves, I would like to learn to slide like she does.
Hopefully with training and trying harder and harder she'll eventually succeed. Maybe it will take a couple of years before she learns to play on clay, but luckily I'm a quick learner." Muchova said: "Constant work pays off.
There is no specific preparation to play against the Top 10 or the Top 20 or the Top 50. I just try to give my best on the court. I wanted to make her move as much as possible. A it sounds easy to say but she plays very fast and is hard to manage."
The other results
he second weekly engagement of the two-time tournament champion Simona Halep turns out to be poor in problems. After trimming a 6-0 to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round, the Romanian tennis player repeats herself against Saisai Zheng.
With a rather large advantage to defend during the second, as well as a break, the number three of the group serves with rather modest results for the match at 5-3 before re-establishing the hierarchies at the foot of the finish line and dragging herself to 6-0 6 -4.
Elise Mertens and Elena Rybakina await her in the quarter-finals. Everything easy for Aryna Sabalenka against Daria Kasatkina, Jennifer Brady leaves three games on the road in the challenge with Jelena Ostapenko, in the final part of the day Viktoria Azarenka gives up and leaves the way of the round of 16 to Jessica Pegula.