“Happy With How Hard I Fought”: Naomi Osaka Remains Positive Despite Tragic Defeat at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/02/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks to media following her Women’s Singles third round defeat to Coco Gauff of the United States of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)


Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka suffered a shock defeat to the Czech player Karolina Muchova in the second round at the Mutua Madrid Open 4-6, 6-3, 1-6. Along with Osaka, well-established names like Karolina Pliskova and Victoria Azarenka have also bowed out of the tournament.

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Osaka struggled to find form against Muchova at Madrid Open

Right from the start, Muchova went toe-to-toe with Osaka as both players produced a few entertaining rallies. But Osaka lost her serve in the third game of the first set as Muchova dominated the Japanese from the baseline and at the net as well. 

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The number two seed had to play catch-up as she managed to hold her remaining service games and allowed Muchova to serve out the set. 

The first set was a matter of few errors from Osaka, and she ensured those unforced errors didn’t crawl back in the second set. Both the players began playing to their strengths as the Japanese started to swing her racquet more freely and looked comfortable on-court. 

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Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Muchova lost her serve twice in the second set as Osaka kept finding the right angles to hit winners as she made few unforced errors. The Czech player yielded to the pressure from the other side and lost the second set 3-6. 

In the third set, Muchova played a stellar return game to break Osaka’s serve in the second game as the latter found it extremely hard to bounce back from that position. Muchova won the set 6-1. 

“I already know something good is coming,” feels Naomi Osaka

After the match, world number two expressed her satisfaction over the two performances she had at the Madrid Open this year. 

Caught an L today but beyond happy with how hard I fought and very grateful for the team I have around me,” Osaka posted on Twitter. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Before heading to the Madrid Open, the Japanese player had also practiced on green clay courts as part of the French Open preparations.  Despite the defeat, Osaka remained optimistic as she prepares to make a solid comeback at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia.

“I already know something good is coming for me so I’ll keep putting my head down and working hard. Tomorrow is a new day! Thank you guys for the support,” Osaka mentioned. 

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Even though she defeated every top-10 player on the hard courts, it’s astonishing to note that Osaka is yet to win a match against a top-20 player on the red dirt. 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

326 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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