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Osaka’s win streak ends, Medvedev also loses at Miami Open

MIAMI (AP) – As Naomi Osaka’s 23-match successful streak neared an finish Wednesday, she paused earlier than serving to crane her neck and examine the sky, as if in search of intervention from above.

Then she carried on, and so did No. 23-seeded Maria Sakkari, who upset Osaka 6-0, 6-4 within the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.

“The more stuff like this happens, the more I’ll learn from it,” the No. 2-ranked Osaka mentioned.

Osaka’s defeat was her first since February 2020, and it ended any likelihood of reclaiming the No. 1 rating this week from Ash Barty, who’s within the semifinals.

The males’s favourite departed almost 12 hours later when No. 1-seeded Daniil Medvedev misplaced to No. 7 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, 6-4, 6-2. Medvedev mangled his racket in anger after he misplaced serve to fall behind late within the first set, and little went proper for him the remainder of the best way.

“If he broke a racket, it’s because he lost his patience,” Bautista Agut mentioned. “I think I did some great things to put him under pressure and feel like this.”

Medvedev fell to 0-3 towards Bautista Agut, one of many six gamers left within the males’s draw. None has gained a Masters 1000 occasion.

Sakkari will subsequent play No. 8-seeded Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who dropped serve eight occasions however nonetheless outlasted unseeded Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“I’m super proud of how I handled it tonight, because it wasn’t easy,” Andreescu mentioned. “My body was giving out, and then my mind gave out at one point, because I was just thinking about how tired I was.”

The different girls’s semifinal Thursday will pit Barty towards No. 5 Elina Svitolina.

Osaka gained her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in February, however in 5 Miami appearances she has by no means superior past the quarterfinals. She mentioned couldn’t get snug on the event’s hard-court floor.

“I felt like I haven’t been playing well this whole tournament, like I couldn’t find a groove,” she mentioned.

Against Sakkari, the one Greek lady ranked within the high 250, Osaka misplaced 15 consecutive factors on her serve to fall behind and blew a 4-1 lead within the second set. She confronted a break level on seven of her eight service video games.

Today’s service problems kind of came out of nowhere,” Osaka mentioned. “My first serve wasn’t going in at all today.”

Sakkari earned her sixth career win over a top-five opponent. She’s still in the tournament only because she saved six match points in the previous round before beating American Jessica Pegula.

In men’s play, 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner earned his first semifinal berth in an ATP Tour top-level event by beating No. 32-seeded Alexander Bublik 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Bublik smiled as he congratulated the No. 21-seeded Sinner at the net.

“You’re not a human, man,” Bublik joked. “You’re 15 years old and you play like this? Good job.”

Sinner will face Bautista Agut on Friday.

Osaka made just 41% of her first serves and paid a price, because Sakkari aggressively attacked the second set. Sakkari also served well and would repeatedly extend rallies until Osaka made an error.

“I don’t think it was the best tennis I played in my life,” Sakkari said. “I just did what I had to do.”

Osaka took a 40-0 lead in the opening game, but didn’t win another point on her serve until the second set. When she ended the drought, she received a big ovation from the small crowd, which she followed up with her best stretch of tennis.

But Sakkari rallied. From 40-0 down she won five consecutive points, hitting one last thunderous return to break for a 5-4 lead. She then coolly served out the victory.

“I just really enjoyed myself out there,” Sakkari said.


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