Karolina Muchova stuns Naomi Osaka to enter round of 16 in Madrid

The Czech star continues her fine 2021 form, beating World No.2 Osaka in three sets

Karolina Muchova celebrates a point; Credit: Twitter

Karolina Muchova’s impressive 2021 continued with a shock victory over World No.2 Naomi Osaka in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday. The 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 upset win earned the Czech player her third win over a Top 5 player this season. In her Madrid tournament debut, Muchova prevailed over the reigning Australian Open champion Osaka in the one hour and 49 minutes contest.

The Czech player had enjoyed a surprising semifinal run at the Australian Open earlier this year. She then struggled with an abdominal injury. But against Osaka n Sunday, she looked fine. Muchova had 29 winners, two more than Osaka. She battled her opponent toe-to-toe right till the end as she never allowed the Japanese player to settle down.

“It was a tough match today, but we had some preparation,” Muchova told the media after her win. “I was ready to play with all I had today, and to use all the weapons I could and [do] what I can. I’m definitely happy it worked out today.”

Fresh off her Top 20 debut in the WTA singles rankings, Muchova started the brighter of the two. It paid off! Osaka double faulted at a crucial point to cede a 2-1 lead to Muchova. Osaka could not recover that break, as the Czech held on to her advantage to bag the set 6-4. Her powerful serving helped her massively in the opening set.

The second set began in similar fashion to the first one with Muchova breaking for another 2-1 lead. Her aggression seemed to work as the 24-year-old was sitting in a comfortable position in the match.

But, Osaka refocused and started to show signs of her ability. Her fightback was rewarded with the Japanese player earning her first break of the day to level the set at 3-3. With momentum on her side, Osaka was at her fluent best, winning the next three games to capture the set.

Muchova then got back into the match with an impressive start to the third set. She earned an early break at 1-0. Since then there was no stopping the Czech player as she went on to win the set 6-1 and secure her spot in the round of 16.

Sportslumo Desk

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