Naomi Osaka Clocks Seventh-Fastest Serve In WTA History In Abu Dhabi Defeat

Naomi Osaka Clocks Seventh-Fastest Serve In WTA History In Abu Dhabi Defeat

by Nurein Ahmed

Naomi Osaka lost her opening match at this year's Abu Dhabi Open, but there was a moment to savor for the Japanese star who smashed the fastest serve of the 2024 WTA season.

Osaka drew one of the toughest first-rounds imaginable in her Abu Dhabi debut, coming up against Danielle Collins, a former Australian Open finalist. Because of the stacked field and her deteriorating ranking, Collins had to go through two rounds of qualifying to enter the main draw.

Having confirmed this to be her final season in a press conference at the Australian Open last month, Collins made full use of the extra mileage, beating Osaka 7-5, 6-0. Dspite the four-time Grand Slamc hampion competing well in the first set, she faded quickly in the second set.

But midway through the first set, Osaka produced a moment for the history books after sending a bullet from a first serve, which the speed guns located inside the Zayed Sports City International Tennis Centre recorded at precisely 205 km/h (127 mph).

It is the seventh-fastest serve hit by a WTA player and the fastest of the current season so far. Germany's Sabine Lisicki tops the list after sending a nuclear serve at the 2014 Stanford Classic that measured 210.8 km/h (131 mph).

But the pace and accuracy of Osaka's first serve dropped significantly in the match. She was broken four times by a rampant Collins, who is one of the most aggressive returners on the women's tour.

Osaka paid a hefty price for not taking her chances. The 26-year-old fashioned as many as six break points but could not convert any of them. It is now three defeats in a row for the former World No. 1, who has a lot of ground to make up to rejoin the upper echelons of the sport.

Osaka's stay in the doubles tournament also came to an end, losing in the first round while partnering Ons Jabeur on Tuesday evening. She was slated to meet top seed Elena Rybakina in the second round, but that matchup will not happen this week.


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