By Tucker Verdi
Naomi Osaka has a bright future ahead of her on the WTA Tour, but that future will have to wait another day as she fell to fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina in the second round of the 2018 Miami Open.
Osaka went on a hot streak and defeated World No. 1 Simona Halep and won her maiden WTA title at Indian Wells, and then bounced Serena Williams in the first round of this tournament on Wednesday.
The emotional run for Osaka ended when Svitolina defeated the Japanese-American by a score of 6-4, 6-2.
“Well, I mean, I tried the best I could,” Osaka said after the match. The 20-year-old went on to explain that she had been feeling “a little bit sick or something” that morning in warm-ups, with bouts of nausea.
No. 8 seed Venus Williams took to the court hoping to avoid an early exit like her sister, and it didn’t look great from the get-go as Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva pushed her on each point.
The former World No. 1 fought through an 18-minute game at 5-all in the first, sealing the break of Vikhlyantseva’s serve that allowed her to serve out the first set. Williams would go on to win the match by a final score of 7-5, 6-4.
Svitolina and Williams were lucky to avoid yet another day of upsets as seeded players fell all across the board.
No. 15 seed Kristina Mladenovic lost to Croatian Petra Martic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 while Maria Sakkari of Greece beat Annett Kontaveit – the No. 28 seed – 6-4, 6-1. Donna Vekic battled No. 24 Elena Vesnina for almost three hours before prevailing 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1.
Notably, two more qualifiers advanced to the third round with upsets of their own. Americans Sofia Kenin and Danielle Collins produced their own stunners to add to the three qualifiers who emerged from day one on Thursday.
Kenin took down the runner-up at Indian Wells less than a week ago, No. 19 seed Daria Kasatkina, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Collins played through an up-and-down match with compatriot Coco Vandeweghe to win 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki also suffered a stunning loss to Monica Puig after winning the first set 6-0. Read more about that here.
For full match results, visit miamiopen.com/2018-results.