Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Naomi Osaka Exits Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka Exits Wimbledon

Osaka, who was ranked No. 1 in the world until last week, lost to Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Monday in the first round at Wimbledon.

The Romanian, who called for a trainer after winning the first set, trailed 5-2 in the second set before rallying to beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 7-5.

Last month Vondrousova fell just short of becoming the first Czech woman to win the French Open for 38 years when she lost to Australia's Ash Barty in the Roland Garros final.

Though Putintseva's world ranking of 39 pales in comparison to Osaka's position of second, the Kazakh has a reputation as a giant-killer, having beaten players in the world's top 10 seven times.

Fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson, who lost to Djokovic in straight sets in last year's final, moved into the second round by beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in only his third match since March.

Six of her seven defeats in 2019 had been to players ranked outside world's top 20 while the 39th-ranked Putintseva was looking for her third top-five win of the season. "But I think I came with the right intensity". The Moscow-born Putintseva challenged a ball which was called out, the ball happened to kiss the line and she held a service break and later consolidated for a 4-2 lead.

It was Sabalenka's second successive loss in the first round Former French Open champion Simona Halep overcame an injury scare to make the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. I've never played on a court so big.

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Osaka said the loss was a shock to her system.

"I have never played on this court, in fact, I have never been on it".

Naomi Osaka in her Wimbledon press conference.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was first on Centre Court, as is tradition at the All England Club.

But Putintseva is known as one of the best competitors on tour and, after she fought back to level at 3-3, things became increasingly complicated for Osaka. "So it was good test for me".

The 21-year-old also does not feel comfortable on grass despite the surface appearing favourable to her powerful game.

Naomi Osaka knows the secret to her meteoric rise to the tennis summit was her ability to enjoy herself on court and, by the same token, that her current slump has drained every bit of fun out of her game.

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