Osaka stunned by Mladenovic in straight sets in Dubai





(Reuters) - World number one Naomi Osaka was beaten in her opening match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday, losing to France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-3 on her return to competitive action after winning last month's Australian Open.

Osaka, who parted ways with coach Sascha Bajin last week following her victory in Melbourne, struggled with her service game, winning 48 percent of her first serve points and making 25 unforced errors as she folded in just over an hour.

Mladenovic hit three fewer winners than Osaka's 19, but made nine unforced errors and converted seven of the 10 break point opportunities she carved out en route to registering her first career victory over a reigning world number one.

"It means a lot, honestly," Mladenovic said after the match. "I know I'm capable of beating great players. I did that in the past exactly on this court."

The Frenchwoman, who is ranked 67th in the world, faces Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the round of 16. Suarez Navarro beat China's Shuai Zhang earlier on Tuesday.

Osaka's shock exit was the most dramatic result on a day in which most of the other big names in action progressed safely to the third round.

Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova rallied from a set down to beat Czech compatriot Katerina Siniakova 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4, while third seed Simona Halep advanced with a 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard.

Kvitova, the second seed, was almost the architect of her own downfall with nine double faults in the match, but recovered to set up a clash with American qualifier Jennifer Brady.

"Even (though) I lost the tiebreak, I was really fighting," Kvitova said. "I won my first two games in the second set. It was really helpful for me for the mentally. Then I'm glad that I was able to hold my serve until the chances in the third."

Brady pulled off another of the day's upsets when she beat 14th seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-4 7-5, joining compatriot Sofia Kenin in the next round.

Kenin ousted last year's Dubai runner-up Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3 2-6 6-4 and Alison Riske beat France's Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3 to mark another good day for the Americans in Dubai.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina also advanced after her second-round opponent Ons Jabeur of Tunisia was forced to retire with an apparent shoulder injury while trailing 7-6(4) 4-0.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Macron woos East Africa but French companies struggle to make inroads
Macron woos East Africa but French companies struggle to make inroads

Two days earlier, he toured churches hewn into the rock in Ethiopia. Macron, 41, is trying to recast the style of France's engagement in Africa, where it was once a colonial power, hoping that building warmer cultural and personal ties will help boost business, trade and investment. A consortium led by Vinci secured a 30-year concession worth 1.6 billion euros to operate a highway linking the Kenyan capital and Mau Summit in western Kenya.

France scrambles for police response to
France scrambles for police response to 'yellow vest' violence

The French government's failure to keep Paris protests over the weekend from spiralling out of control has put a harsh spotlight on its law enforcement strategy, which makes avoiding injuries a priority even after hours of rampant destruction and looting. Business owners on the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue were fuming Monday as President Emmanuel Macron met with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet to weigh their response to an 18th consecutive Saturday of "yellow vest" demonstrations. For decades French authorities have usually preferred the opposite, putting down mass protests with tear gas and rubber bullets but avoiding physical clashes against...

Teenager Andreescu stuns Kerber to win Indian Wells title
Teenager Andreescu stuns Kerber to win Indian Wells title

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu stunned three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 3-6 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open and capture her first career title in Indian Wells on Sunday. Andreescu used creative and aggressive shot-making to defeat the German despite suffering with a troublesome

French violence flares as yellow vest protests enter fourth month
French violence flares as yellow vest protests enter fourth month

Rioters set fire to a bank and ransacked stores on Paris's Champs Elysees avenue on Saturday, in a new flare-up of violence as France's yellow vest protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his pro-business reforms entered a fourth month. Police fired tear gas and water cannon as the protests turned violent after weeks of relative calm, during which marches had attracted declining numbers of participants. Rioters also set fire to an upmarket handbag store and two newsstands on the Champs Elysees, while scattered bonfires burned on the thoroughfare.

Andreescu seeks breakthrough win at Indian Wells
Andreescu seeks breakthrough win at Indian Wells

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu will try to follow in footsteps of world number one Naomi Osaka on Sunday and cap a magical run at Indian Wells with a first WTA title. Andreescu grabbed a slice of history when she became the first wild card to reach the women's final in the California desert

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Tennis

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.