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    Friday, August 20, 2021

    Osaka, Azarenka Stunned in Cincinnati Masters

    The struggle is real for Naomi Osaka. A day after coming from a set down to defeat Coco Gauff at the Cincinnati Masters, the 4-time Slam winner couldn’t hold a set lead to Jil Teichmann in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 stunned Thursday night.

    The lefty Tiechmann’s variety created havoc for Osaka as the former No. 1 sprayed 41 unforced errors and her lethal serve surrendered seven double faults.

    “I knew she’s a very tough opponent. She’s a Grand Slam champion. I’m the underdog, so… my plan was to just play my game,” Teichmann she said on court.

    “I move very good, I change up everything,” she said. “Directions, height, everything, and I think she didn’t really feel very comfortable about it, and I served very good.”

    Osaka was reflective in defeat.

    “I thought she played really well,” said Osaka. “I thought in the first set I was doing everything I was supposed to do, and then in the second set I feel like, and also in the third set I felt like I was a bit too defensive maybe.

    “I felt like I learned a lot from this match today, and I felt that, if anything to take away from this, I tried my best throughout the entire match, so I can sleep at night.”

    Defending champion Victoria Azarenka was bounced by Ash Barty who bludgeoned the Belarussian 6-0, 5-2.

    “Sometimes a scoreline in tennis can fool you,” Barty said. “Even though it was quite a convincing scoreline, for most part of that match, there were crucial points within each and every game. I felt like I was able to win a lot of those big points today.”

    Karolina Pliskova finally solved her nemesis Jessica Pegula. The American was 4-0 against Pliskova this year but the Czech finally got the win 6-4, 7-6(5). Pliskova came from 5-0 down in the second to take it in straights.

    “Super weird, but really, I’m so happy, because I was scared to lose to the same player like five times,” Pliskova said. “So I’m really happy that somehow I find a way, although it was not a pretty match at all.

    “I was proud about how I stayed and managed somehow to be always closer to her and find a way to win.”

    Pliskova will meet Paula Badosa who topped Elena Rybakina 6-2, 7-6(5).

    The battle or French Open champions between Barbora Krejcikova and Garbine Muguruza went the Czech’s way with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 victory. Krejcikova now faces another French champ in Barty.

    “We will go and do our homework tonight like we always do and prepare as best that we can and try and adjust my game a little bit to what the opponent brings. Then we just go out there and try and execute,” Barty said.

    Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic and Angelique Kerber were also winners.

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