After Grand Slam success at the U.S. and Australian Opens, Naomi Osaka was defeated 7-6 6-2 by Yulia Putintseva, while Karolina Pliskova progressed to the next round in Wimbledon.
World number two Naomi Osaka’s hopes of a third Grand Slam title
The Japanese, who had nervelessly battered her way to Grand Slam success at the U.S. and Australian Opens, failed to find her range on the slick lawns of the All England Club, tumbling out amid a flurry of unforced errors.
Putintseva was far from an unknown quantity for Osaka, having recently knocked her out in Birmingham, and again proved a resolute obstacle for the Japanese, fighting back after an early break to take the first set on a tiebreak.
She broke the Japanese second seed twice in a dominant second set, wrapping up victory in an hour and 36 minutes when her opponent sliced a backhand into the net.
French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova out
French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova was knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday, the Czech 16th seed beaten 6-4 6-4 by American Madison Brengle.
A few days after turning 20, the left-hander struggled to get to grips with her opponent’s game as she lost in the first round for the third successive year.
Last month Vondrousova fell just short of becoming the first Czech woman to win the French Open for 38 years when she lost to Australia’s Ash Barty in the Roland Garros final.
Karolina Pliskova follows Eastbourne triumph with win
Third seed Karolina Pliskova bludgeoned her way into the second
But Pliskova, who won the Eastbourne grasscourt tournament on Saturday, blowing away Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the final, had a tougher time on the All England Club’s distant Court Two, against an opponent ranked 98 places behind her.
Pliskova ended Zhu’s resistance after much toil and the former number one, who could rise to the top spot again at the Championships, took the match by tiebreak after 1 hour 21 minutes.
The last woman to win at Eastbourne and Wimbledon in the same year was Pliskova’s late compatriot Jana Novotna in 1998.
Pliskova will meet Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the second round.