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Result: Naomi Osaka out in second round of Madrid Open

Result: Naomi Osaka out in second round of Madrid Open
© Reuters
The US Open and Australian Open champion was playing her first tournament on clay since 2019.

Naomi Osaka suffered an early exit at the Madrid Open with a second-round loss to Karolina Muchova.

The world number two was playing only her second match on clay since 2019 having decided not to travel to Europe last season and Czech Muchova looked much more comfortable in a 6-4 3-6 6-1 victory.

Osaka battled from 3-1 behind to take the second set with a run of five games in a row but she faded after Muchova made a strong start to the decider.

Having not lost a match for more than a year prior to defeat against Maria Sakkari in the Miami Open quarter-finals, US Open and Australian Open champion Osaka has now been beaten twice in her last three outings.

The Japanese star said: “I think today for me it was quite different from the last time I lost in Miami, and I actually think I played much better here, so I’m very happy about that.

“I think what I can take away from this is that I tried my best throughout the entire match. I think tennis-wise, I felt I was too defensive in the first set. I think halfway through the second set I was able to adjust that, and then the third set honestly I feel I just started off really bad and I couldn’t afford to do that.

“Then the last three games I think she was just serving really well, and unfortunately I couldn’t hold my serve. I wouldn’t say I’m happy that I lost, but I think I learned a lot. So that’s all I can hope for.”

Former champion Simona Halep beat Zheng Saisai 6-0 6-4, but two-time Madrid finalist Victoria Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the tournament prior to her match against Jessica Pegula due to a back injury.

Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-3 while Sakkari was a 6-3 6-1 winner against Anett Kontaveit.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova sunk sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0 7-5, and there were also wins for Jennifer Brady and Elise Mertens.

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