Naomi Osaka Loses in the First Round in Paris

PARIS — Amanda Anisimova knocked Naomi Osaka out of one other Grand Slam event on Monday, defeating her, 7-5, 6-4, within the first spherical of the French Open.

Anisimova, a 20-year-old American with an influence sport that bears a sure resemblance to Osaka’s, needed to save two match factors earlier than defeating Osaka in a three-set thriller within the third spherical of this yr’s Australian Open.

However Anisimova was way more environment friendly on Monday, cracking sometimes beneath Osaka’s weight of shot and the load of the second however finally navigating the vital phases of the match with aplomb.

She served out the primary set at love, placing three winners, after which served out the match, ending off Osaka on her third match level with a cocksure backhand winner down the road that Osaka had no likelihood to succeed in.

“While you see Naomi Osaka within the first spherical, you don’t suppose it’s going to be straightforward,” Anisimova mentioned. “A really robust match, and going on the market I knew I needed to play good tennis, and the circumstances weren’t straightforward.”

Considered objectively, this was no upset. Osaka, a former No. 1 from Japan, is among the largest stars in sports activities and the best paid feminine athlete on this planet by a big margin. However she has not been a dominant pressure on tour for effectively over a yr now and has by no means been a dominant pressure on the French Open’s clay-court floor.

All 4 of Osaka’s Grand Slam singles titles had been gained on hardcourts: two on the Australian Open and two at the US Open. She has by no means reached even the ultimate of a clay-court occasion on tour and has by no means been previous the third spherical of the French Open.

She arrived in Paris this yr unseeded and having performed simply two singles matches on clay all yr after withdrawing from the Italian Open earlier this month due to a left Achilles’ tendon harm.

Her decrease left ankle was taped on Monday for the rematch with Anisimova, the No. 27 seed, who as the upper ranked participant, walked on the Suzanne Lenglen Court docket after her opponent.

The ballstriking was ferocious from the opening level. Although circumstances had been humid and heavy on the clay, Anisimova and Osaka each have the punching energy to hit winners in any circumstances. However Anisimova, tall and with a style for threat, has had much more success at Roland Garros to date than Osaka. As a 17-year-old, Anisimova reached the semifinals in 2019 earlier than shedding to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty.

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