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Madrid Open: World No.2 Osaka shocked

Naomi Osaka of Japan returns the ball to Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic during their match at the Madrid Open on Sunday
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Naomi Osaka of Japan returns the ball to Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic during their match at the Madrid Open on Sunday

Highlights

Karolina Muchova added yet another stunning win over a top player to her collection with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 upset of world No. 2 Naomi Osaka in the second round of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

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Madrid: Karolina Muchova added yet another stunning win over a top player to her collection with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 upset of world No. 2 Naomi Osaka in the second round of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

The rising Czech captured her third win over a top-5 player this season, and her 10th top-5 win in her career overall, with her one-hour and 49-minute victory over reigning Australian Open champion Osaka.

Fresh off her top-20 debut in the WTA singles rankings on Monday, Muchova continued to impress in her Madrid tournament debut, as she plays only her second event since her breakthrough semi-final run at the Australian Open earlier this year, according to wtatennis.com.

Muchova struggled with an abdominal injury after her Melbourne exploits, which included a win over world No.1 Ashleigh Barty. But the Czech looked in fine form against Osaka, as she survived a second-set comeback by the No. 2 seed. Muchova had 29 winners, two more than Osaka, and converted half of her eight break points on the day.

Both players displayed powerful serving in the first set, but Osaka faltered early, double faulting down break point to cede a 2-1 lead to Muchova. Osaka could not recover that break, as Muchova punched away a volley in the next game to save the only break point she faced in the set. Muchova eased to the one-set lead, ending the opening frame with another unreturned serve.

Muchova took control early in the second set as well, breaking for another 2-1 lead with continued aggression. However, Osaka was up to the task, increasing the intensity with her stellar forehand and earning her first break of the day with that wing to level the set at 3-3.

Osaka grabbed the momentum and dominated behind that shot, knocking off five games in a row to sweep through the rest of the set and tie up the match at one set apiece. While the players had roughly equivalent success behind their first serve in each set, Muchova's first-service percentage dropped from 73 in the opener to 52 in the second set.

In the decider, though, Muchova got back on track. At 1-0, the Czech fired a passing winner to set up break point, then used a deep return to earn an early break. Muchova was untroubled the rest of the way, zipping home from there to notch her 10th match-win of the season and claim her spot in the Madrid round of 16. (IANS)

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