Naomi Osaka’s 23-match winning streak ended Thursday and with it, her hopes of regaining the No.1 ranking.
World No.2 Naomi Osaka’s 23-match winning streak ended Thursday (AEDT) when she lost to Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open, 6-0 6-4.
The defeat was Osaka’s first since February 2020, and it ended any chance of reclaiming the No.1 ranking this week from Ash Barty, who is in the semi-finals.
Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month, but in five Miami appearances she has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals.
Against the No. 23-seeded Sakkari, Osaka lost 15 consecutive points on her serve to fall behind, losing the first set in 21 minutes, and blew a 4-1 lead in the second set. She faced a break point on seven of her eight service games.
Sakkari earned her sixth career win over a top-five opponent. She’s still in the tournament only because she saved six match points in the fourth round before beating American Jessica Pegula.
Osaka took a 40-0 lead in the opening game but didn’t win another point on her serve until the second set. When she ended the drought, she received a big ovation from the small crowd, which she followed up with her best stretch of tennis.
But Sakkari rallied. From 40-0 down she won five consecutive points, hitting one last thunderous return to break for a 5-4 lead. She then coolly served out the victory.
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