Osaka up­set in third round

Ser­ena Wil­liams with­draws with in­jured left knee

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - By Steven Wine

MI­AMI GAR­DENS — The new site for the Mi­ami Open sud­denly is miss­ing a lot of star power.

Ser­ena Wil­liams with­drew Sat­ur­day, blam­ing a pre­vi­ously undis­closed left knee in­jury. Less than two hours later, top-ranked Naomi Osaka lost in the third round to tour veteran Hsieh Su-Wei of Tai­wan, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Osaka’s de­par­ture matched the ear­li­est ever in the tour­na­ment by a topseeded woman and jeop­ar­dized her No. 1 rank­ing, de­pend­ing on re­sults next week.

“I feel like I’ve dealt with the stress of peo­ple ask­ing me do I have pres­sure be­cause I have the No. 1 next to my name,” Osaka said. “I thought I was do­ing fine with that, but I guess I’m not.”

Wil­liams’ with­drawal was un­ex­pected be­cause she showed no signs of in­jury a day ear­lier while win­ning her open­ing match against Re­becca Peter­son, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. Wil­liams didn’t men­tion any health is­sues dur­ing a news con­fer­ence af­ter the match, and the WTA had no in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing when she was hurt.

The vic­tory Fri­day was Wil­liams’ first at Hard Rock Sta­dium, the Mi­ami Naomi Osaka won­ders what’s go­ing wrong Sat­ur­day dur­ing her match against Su-Wei Hsieh at the Mi­ami Open. Top-ranked Osaka was de­feated 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Dol­phins’ home and the Mi­ami Open’s new cen­ter court. The tour­na­ment moved this year from Key Bis­cayne, where Wil­liams won eight ti­tles.

“I am dis­ap­pointed to with­draw,” she said in a state­ment. “It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to play at Hard Rock Sta­dium this year, and I would like to thank the Mi­ami Open for putting on an amaz­ing event. I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tour­na­ment in front of the in­cred­i­ble fans here in Mi­ami.”

On the men’s side, seeded losers in­cluded No.

10 Karen Khachanov, No. 21 Diego Schwartz­man, No. 26 Guido Pella, No. 30 Stan Wawrinka and No. 31 Steve John­son. In a game of inches, the 5-foot-6 Schwartz­man lost to

6-foot-11 Reilly Opelka 6-4,

3-6, 6-4. Wil­liams was next sched­uled to play No.

18-seeded Qiang Wang, who ad­vanced to the fourth round.

Also reach­ing the women’s round of 16 was the

33-year-old Hsieh, who turned pro in 2001 but has achieved the two big­gest vic­to­ries of her ca­reer in the past nine months. Her

only other win over a No. 1 player came against Si­mona Halep at Wim­ble­don last year.

With two-handed ground­strokes from both sides, Hsieh was the stead­ier player from the base­line against Osaka. When Hsieh closed out match point with a fore­hand vol­ley win­ner, she be­gan to cry as the crowd ap­plauded her per­for­mance.

Osaka smiled when re­minded it was the first time in 64 matches she lost af­ter win­ning the first set.

“I know — it’s de­press­ing,” she said. “I was think­ing about it right af­ter I lost.”

Osaka, 21, has won the past two Grand Slam tour­na­ments. Wil­liams, 37, still hasn’t won a tour­na­ment since the 2017 Aus­tralian Open, be­fore she took a break of more than a year to be­come a mom. She has played only eight matches this year.

Wil­liams’ stay at the Mi­ami Open was also brief last year, when she lost in the first round to Osaka. Fri­day’s match was Wil­liams’ first since she re­tired from In­dian Wells two weeks ago be­cause of a vi­ral ill­ness.


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