World No.1 Osaka was beaten by unorthodox Taiwanese 27th seed Su-Wei Hsieh at the Miami Open on Saturday, while former No.1 Serena Williams withdrew with a previously undisclosed knee injury.
Osaka went down 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 to Hsieh, another setback for the Japanese star who won the last two Grand Slam titles, the US Open and Australian Open.
“I feel like I’ve dealt with the stress of people asking me (if) I have pressure because I have the No.1 next to my name,” the 21-year-old Osaka said.
“I thought I was doing fine with that, but I guess I’m not.”
"I was thinking too much, like everything was on my racquet. Honestly, she has the ability to make winners, too"@Naomi_Osaka_ #????? opens up following her third round exit at the @MiamiOpen. pic.twitter.com/RixlmlCV3K
— WTA (@WTA) March 24, 2019
Eight-times champion Williams had shown no signs of injury while winning her opener against Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-3 1-6 6-1.
Miami is the second consecutive WTA event in which the American has been unable to continue after her retirement from last week’s Indian Wells event with illness.
World No.2 Petra Kvitova was extended to three sets before the Czech overcame Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-4 3-6 6-4.
France’s Caroline Garcia ousted German Julia Goerges in straight sets, while Danish star Caroline Wozniacki outclassed Romanian Monica Niculescu.
In the men’s draw, second seed Alexander Zverev suffered a shock 2-6 7-5 6-3 defeat by Spanish wildcard David Ferrer.
The 36-year-old Spaniard is in the middle of a farewell tour before retiring but produced his first win over a top-five opponent since 2015.
“It means a lot,” said Ferrer.
“It’s a special day because it’s the last year of professional tennis for me. Winning these type of matches against a Top 10 player like Sascha is a gift. I’m very happy and I’m trying to enjoy every point and every moment.”
Roger Federer had to battle through three sets in over two hours to defeat Moldovan Radu Albot 4-6 7-5 6-3.
“It wasn’t easy and he got off to a good start. It was difficult because he had a great attitude with a clear plan that I didn’t have,” Federer said.
He will next face world No.103 Filip Krajinovic on Monday after the Serbian upset Federer’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka 7-5 2-6 6-7(5-7).
Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(7-4) 6-1.
Belgian David Goffin defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1, while Canadian 20th seed Denis Shapovalov came from a set down to beat Britain’s Dan Evans 4-6 6-1 6-3.
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