Naomi Osaka made a quick exit from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The former world No. 1 lost to Zhang Shuai in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) in the first round Tuesday.
After Zhang’s win, Osaka and Zhang have three wins each against one another in their careers.
The victory is Zhang’s first against a major winner since the 2020 Australian Open, when she took out Sloane Stephens in three sets. The No. 44-ranked player had just four aces but was able to serve more effectively than Osaka, winning 73 percent of the points on her first and second deliveries.
Brilliant Zhang 💪🇨🇳 @zhangshuai121 defeats Osaka 6-4, 7-5 to move into the second round in Cincinnati!#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/LoUqj2EAza— wta (@WTA) August 16, 2022
Brilliant Zhang 💪🇨🇳 @zhangshuai121 defeats Osaka 6-4, 7-5 to move into the second round in Cincinnati!#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/LoUqj2EAza
Osaka, meanwhile, was upended by 29 unforced errors, which outweighed her 21 winners.
The loss marks the second first-round exit in a row for Osaka, who also fell out early in the Canadian Open last week. She was trailing Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in Toronto when she retired from the match with a back injury.
She hasn’t dropped back-to-back opening matches since doing so at the same two tournaments in 2018. But she followed up those losses with her first major win at the U.S. Open.