Osaka Ousted Already In Her First Match At Berlin Open By No. 6 Seed Zheng

Osaka Ousted Already In Her First Match At Berlin Open By No. 6 Seed Zheng

by Zachary Wimer

Naomi Osaka continued her grass season at the 2024 Berlin Open, but she lost already in the opening round to the sixth-seeded Qinwen Zheng.

Osaka and Zheng are similar players because both have a very powerful serve and are good hitters. Such a matchup on grass was always going to be very interesting, and it certainly was, as fans in the German capital saw three sets of play.

The Japanese player had a good run last week at the Libema Open but stumbled against Bianca Andreescu and failed to make the final. Her hope was to continue playing well at the WTA 500 tournament in Berlin, and she played a solid match, but it was just not enough.

The opening set didn't go her way because Zheng was just too strong when it mattered. The Chinese player served really well, which allowed her to finish off points on her serve quickly.

The former world no. 1 failed to exert any pressure and didn't serve well to keep Zheng from any break points. Ultimately, the Chinese player used her chances to win the opening set 6-4.

Osaka countered in the second set because, this time around, she served better than her opponent, and it made all the difference. Grass is not that complicated for good servers, because on a good serving day, they can cruise relatively easily.

This match largely swung that way, though Osaka was also much better from the baseline in the second set. She attacked Zheng's second serve with great success and won the set 6-3.

The final set once again swung to Zheng's side because she was once again sharper. She didn't serve as well as in the first set but played better in rallies, taking an early 3-1 lead.

In the last game of the match, Osaka really wanted to pull off a comeback, but despite saving three match points, her opponent also saved one break point that the four-time major winner had, as Zheng won the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the second round of the 2024 Berlin Open.


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