Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Naomi Osaka eliminated in first round at Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka eliminated in first round at Wimbledon

Facing break point at 2-2 in the second set, Naomi Osaka fired a flat, roughly 180 kph serve to Yulia Putintseva's backhand, seemingly handcuffing her tricky Kazakh opponent.

In the men's draw, Novak Djokovic began his defence of his Wimbledon title with a solid 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win against Philipp Kohlschreiber yesterday on Centre Court that reached no great heights but eased the world No. 1 into the second round without fuss. When asked about her coaching change, she said firmly, "I don't think it's related at all". "I feel like I'm going to cry".

It was clear how disappointed second seed Osaka was by the defeat as she spoke barely louder than a whisper in her post-match press conference and gave very brief answers.

Osaka had 38 unforced errors on Centre Court, while Putintseva had only seven.

But Pliskova, who won the Eastbourne grasscourt tournament on Saturday, blowing away Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the final, had a tougher time on the All England Club's distant Court Two, against an opponent ranked 98 places behind her. At Roland Garros last month, Osaka let the pressure and expectation get to her, exiting the tournament in the third round in a disappointing performance against Katerina Siniakova.

Shortly after that, Osaka split from coach Sascha Bajin, saying: "I think my reason is I wouldn't put success over my happiness", but offering no further explanation.

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Other highly regarded players who were defeated included five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and 2019 French Open semifinalist Marketa Vondrousova on the women's side, and No. 6 Alexander Zverev and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas on the men's side. "I had two good years by making quarter-finals", Wawrinka said.

"From that moment onwards I played a pretty good match I thought".

She took the opening set 7-4 on a tie-break, and refused to let U.S. and Australian Open champion Osaka back into the match as the Japanese star wilted in the second set. "I started off well, then one or two things don't go my way, and everything kind of a little bit falls apart", the German said. "I do believe that this year I'm playing well, I am playing the best I never played on grass court".

There will be daily editions of The Tennis Podcast throughout Wimbledon.

The loss clearly was weighing heavily on her mind after the match.

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