Wimbledon 2019: Naomi Osaka Loses in the First Round

WIMBLEDON, England — After becoming the first player in more than a decade to win her first two Grand Slam titles consecutively, Naomi Osaka has lost in the first week of the next two.

After a third-round loss last month at the French Open, the second-seeded Osaka fell to Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 (4), 6-2, in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday afternoon on Centre Court.

Though an upset on paper, the result was not unexpected: Putintseva, a Muscovite who switched her representation to Kazakhstan, had beaten Osaka in their two previous meetings, last year in Hobart, Australia, and two weeks ago in Birmingham, England.

The hard-fought first set lasted exactly one hour, with Putintseva coming back from an early 1-3 deficit before ultimately winning a tiebreaker.

Putintseva broke Osaka’s serve in the fifth game of the second set with a successful drop-shot return winner, which she correctly challenged, allowing the Hawkeye review system to show it nicked the line.

Osaka is something of a hardcourt specialist, having never reached the fourth round at either the French Open or Wimbledon.

Not long after Osaka lost, two more top young players were ousted from the tournament. Alexander Zverev, the No. 6 seed in the men’s tournament, lost to Jiri Vesely, 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5. Zverev, a 22-year-old German, has advanced past the fourth round at a major only twice.

And seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 20-year-old from Greece whose strong serve and net game made him a popular pick to win the tournament, fell to Thomas Fabbiano, 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7(8) 6-3.

In other matches Monday, last year’s Wimbledon men’s finalists advanced to the second round.

The defending champion, Novak Djokovic, was first on Centre Court, as is tradition at the All England Club. He beat Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson, who lost to Djokovic in straight sets in last year’s final, moved into the second round by beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, in only his third match since March.

Stan Wawrinka, seeded 22nd, also advanced, defeating the Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Wawrinka, who will next face the American Reilly Opelka, has never been past the quarterfinals at the All England Club.

Simona Halep, a former No. 1 on the women’s tour who is seeded seventh at Wimbledon this year, advanced despite some pain in her left knee and foot. She called for a trainer after winning the first set and trailed by 5-2 in the second set before rallying to beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-4, 7-5.

Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova also advanced, beating Lin Zhu, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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