World Number 2 Naomi Osaka was stunned 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 by wild card entry Jil Teichmann in the Western & Southern Open’s third round in Cincinnati on Thursday. Osaka said she had tried her best and would not lose any sleep over the defeat. The tennis star cruised through the first set and looked like she would make short work of the Swiss wild card before Teichmann settled down and took the second.
Momentum swung firmly in the world No. 76’s direction in the fourth game of the decider when Osaka missed overhead smashes on back-to-back points, bringing a scream of frustration from the Japanese player.
SOAK IT ALL IN ✨
— wta (@WTA) August 20, 2021
The errors continued to pile up for the four-time Grand Slam champion, who issued her 41st unforced error on match point when she sent a service return long. Teichmann advanced to the quarter-finals with the biggest win of her career.
“I’m shaking right now,” Teichmann said. “She’s a very tough opponent, a Grand Slam champion, and I’m the underdog, which is a bit easier. But you’ve got to start somewhere.”
Osaka said she struggled due to a lack of competitive matches. The 23-year-old is competing in her first event outside the Tokyo Olympics since withdrawing from the French Open in May citing mental health issues.
“I thought that for me I felt a bit hesitant, and normally I don’t feel that way,” she said.
“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.”
Osaka said her third-round exit at the Tokyo Games had affected her approach to the game on Thursday.
“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,” she said.
“I felt like I learnt 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.”
Osaka will look to find her form ahead of the upcoming US Open in New York, where she is a two-time champion. That event begins on Aug 30.
Top seed Daniil Medvedev reached the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow former champion Grigor Dimitrov.
The Russian world number two stretched his record against the Bulgarian to 3-1. Medvedev won the Cincinnati title in 2019 while Dimitrov took the trophy in 2017.
Medvedev, the champion in Toronto last weekend, will next face Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3).
“What makes it tough, it’s two weeks in a row against the best players in the world,” Medvedev said.
“I’m still young, healthy and feeling 100%, so that is why I want to try and do it.”
Men’s second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas needed a fightback to tame Italian Lorenzo Sonego 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The Greek improved to 47-13, increasing his ATP season match-win lead.
Tsitsipas said saving three break points in the first game of the second set changed the match trajectory.
“I’m glad I overcame that obstacle,” he said.
“I stayed in and waited for opportunities to present themselves. A fighting spirit was very crucial.”