Defeat for Naomi Osaka against Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann in Cincinnati as unforced errors see world No 2 crumble after winning first set – twice champion returns to New York for US Open from August 30; Ashleigh Barty inflicts Victoria Azarenka’s heaviest defeat in 14 years
Last Updated: 20/08/21 11:24am
Naomi Osaka missed out on extra match practice ahead of the US Open as she fell to Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann in the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Osaka appeared to be cruising to victory when she took the opening set, but a series of unforced errors started to affect her game and offered Teichmann the chance to level.
The world No 2 managed an early break in the deciding set but that was soon cancelled out and the key moments came in the fourth game when Osaka missed back-to-back overheads and let out a scream of frustration.
Two more breaks of her serve would follow, with her unforced error count rising above 40, as Teichmann secured the biggest win of her career 3-6 6-3 6-3.
Afterwards, Osaka conceded that a lack of competitive action was starting to show, with the defeat coming in only her fifth match since she walked out of the French Open at the end of May, citing concerns about her mental health.
“I thought that for me I felt a bit hesitant, and normally I don’t feel that way,” said Osaka, who had broken down under questioning at a press conference in Cincinnati earlier this week.
“Of course I put myself in this position by choosing not to play that many tournaments, so, yeah, just feeling more comfortable with it, feeling more confident in myself, as well, because I feel like there were times where I was doubting myself.
“I also thought that my performance in Tokyo was also lingering in my mind a bit, because I felt like I was overly aggressive there.
“I felt like I learned a lot from this match today, and if anything to take away from this, I tried my best throughout the entire match so I can sleep at night.”
Speaking to the Japanese press, Osaka said: “For me, I think I took a step in the right direction today, because I was able to process things with my team after I lost.
“I honestly haven’t been able to do that for the last couple of matches, so I think in that way, I have gotten a little bit mature. I know I had a little outburst on the court today, which I’m not that proud of, but hopefully I can keep learning from it.
World No 76 Teichmann will now play for a place in the semi-finals against compatriot and 10th seed Belinda Bencic, who advanced after Karolina Muchova retired due to injury while trailing 7-5 2-1.
Top seed Ashleigh Barty inflicted defending champion Victoria Azarenka’s heaviest defeat in 14 years as she booked her place in the last eight with a thumping 6-0 6-2 victory in 71 minutes.
Barty will now play French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who beat Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-2.
Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova beat America’s Jessica Pegula 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to set up a last-eight clash with Spain’s Paula Badosa, who won 6-2 7-6 (7-5) against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.
Petra Kvitova, the 11th seed, will play Germany’s Anna Kerber in the other quarter-final.
Czech Republic’s Kvitova cruised through after a 6-2 6-1 win against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur and three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber overcame Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 4-6 6-2 7-5.