An error-prone Naomi Osaka was stunned 3-6 6-3 6-3 by Jil Teichmann in the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Thursday.
World number two Osaka cruised through the first set and looked like she would make short work of the Swiss wild card.
But world number 76 Teichmann settled down and took the second set, and the momentum swung firmly in her direction in the fourth game of the decider when Osaka missed overhead smashes on back-to-back points, leading her to scream in frustration.
WATCH | Teichmann knocks out Osaka in 3rd round:
The miscues continued to pile up for the four-times Grand Slam champion, who issued her 41st unforced error on match point when she sent a service return long as 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 will look to find her form ahead of the upcoming U.S. Open in New York, where she is a two-time champion.
Barty rolls past Azarenka
World number one Ash Barty looked in impressive form as she stormed into the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, the Australian happy to play as much as possible on an unusually long stint away from home.
Barty continued her preparations for the U.S. Open by rattling off the first 10 games on her way to crushing former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-0 6-2 in little more than an hour.
The 25-year-old Queenslander stayed at home in 2020 as COVID-19 spread around the world but this season elected to return to the peripatetic life of the tennis professional.
Wow 😳<a href=”https://twitter.com/ashbarty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ashbarty</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CincyTennis</a> <a href=”https://t.co/SFaDMmGw3B”>pic.twitter.com/SFaDMmGw3B</a>
Australia’s strict quarantine rules mean there is no chance of a quick trip home to recharge her batteries but Barty says she always knew she would have to embrace the challenge of life on the road.
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a strange one. It is the grand adventure,” she told reporters in Cincinnati.
“I think once we left Australia at the beginning of this year, that was very much the mindset that we used, this is going to be a year like no other.
Barty has certainly been having fun on court, winning four singles titles in 12 tournaments this year, including her second Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon.
“There have been times where I’ve felt like days have been long, everything is dragged out,” said Barty, who next plays French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova for a place in the Cincinnati semi-finals.
“Fortunately, I have been busy playing a lot of matches, which has been the best distraction possible to pass time …
“We are just trying to play each match and kind of live each day as best we can, make sure we laugh, make sure we smile, have a good time, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Medvedev claims straight-sets win over Dimitrov
Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia had seven aces while cruising to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open at Mason, Ohio.
Medvedev needed just 89 minutes to complete the victory in the Cincinnati-area event.
“Grigor is an amazing player, but a little bit worse on the backhand, and I like when people slice, so that was a tactic to try to put pressure on him there,” Medvedev said afterward of his game plan against Dimitrov. “Of course, I mixed it up with the forehand sometimes and it seemed to work really well.”
Medvedev will next face seventh-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. Carreno Busta posted a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3) victory over ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
Medvedev is three victories away from winning the event for the second time. He beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the 2019 title match.
Meanwhile, Carreno Busta had seven aces in his victory. Hurkacz hammered 14 aces in defeat.
Zverev advances with win against Pella
Third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany moved on with an easy 6-2, 6-3 victory over Guido Pella of Argentina.
Zverev had eight aces and converted 85.2 percent of his first-serve points while closing out the match in 73 minutes.
“It’s the fastest court I have played on the whole year,” Zverev told the Tennis Channel afterward. “In the first match I was struggling a little with rhythm and timing, but it does suit me with my serve and the power I have, when I decide to use it. Today I felt good out there.”
Fourth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia recorded a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) win over Gael Monfils of France.
Rublev won 87 percent of his first-serve points and had eight aces. Monfils had nine aces but committed seven double faults.
“Gael was running super fast and it’s impossible to play short rallies with him,” Rublev said afterward. “If you try to shoot every ball you will miss most of them and the match will be over in half an hour. So you need to take your time, stay in the rally and wait for the right moment.”
Rublev next faces Frenchman Benoit Paire, who registered a 7-6 (1), 6-7 (2), 6-1 victory over John Isner. Paire had 16 aces and overcame 20 double faults while Isner had 18 aces and six double faults.