Playing her first match since the Australian Open triumph and controversial split from coach Sascha Bajin, Naomi Osaka lost in straight sets to Kristina Mladenovic in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. After going out in 66 minutes, 6-3 6-3, to a player who had not won a match this year before this tournament, Osaka explained that she couldn’t handle all eyes being on her as the No.1 WTA player. Not bearing the pressure the attention brings, Osaka was broken seven of the nine times she served.
Second seed Petra Kvitova battled back from a set down to overcome compatriot Katerina Siniakova 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4 and reach the last 16, while third seed Simona Halep, Osaka’s predecessor at the top of the WTA rankings, beat Eugenie Bouchard 7-6(4) 6-4 in the second round.
Fifth seed Angelique Kerber saved two set points before winning 7-6(4) 6-3 against Dalila Jakupovic, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova edged Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 3-6 6-3, Carla Suarez Navarro beat Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-4 and qualifier Jennifer Brady upset seed No.14 Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-5.
Our Jimmie48 photographed all these second-round matches and he’s ready to bring us much more excellent photos in the coming days!
MORE PHOTOS FROM DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019:
- Monday: Osaka practices with coach Yoshikawa, first round completes
- Sunday: First round kicks off, top players warm up
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