Sabalenka, Swiatek, Kvitova crash out in Tokyo, Osaka cruises


Three Top 10 seeds were eliminated in Monday’s second-round action at the Tokyo Olympics, while host nation’s Naomi Osaka advanced with a convincing victory to reach the last 16 at Ariake Tennis Park.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus wasted a 4-2 lead in the decider and fell to Croatia’s Donna Vekic in a lengthy three-setter, 6-4 3-6 7-6(3).

Spain’s Paula Badosa rallied from a break down in both sets to take out sixth seed Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3 7-6(4). This tournament meant a lot to the 2020 French Open champion and she sobbed for a long time in her chair after the defeat.

Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck recovered from a set down and won the last ten games to defeat tenth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 5-7 6-3 6-0.

This series of upsets happened a day after world No.1 Ashleigh Barty got kicked out by Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Playing her first tournament in two months, Naomi Osaka is enjoying a strong start. After a confident win over Zheng Saisai in the opening match, Osaka needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-2. The second-seeded Osaka recorded 29 winners to Golubic’s 14 and made 11 unforced errors, 10 less than her opponent. The Olympics are played on hard courts, the Japanese’s favorite surface on which she won all four of her Grand Slam titles.

Garbine Muguruza and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also enjoyed quick victories on Monday — against Wang Qiang and Anna-Lena Friedsam, respectively.


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