Osaka battles past Muchova, Kvitova beaten by Bouzkova

Naomi Osaka comes back from a set down to beat Karolina Muchova on Monday in New York. Petra Kvitova was not as fortunate in her three-set battle.

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Fourth seed Naomi Osaka came close to bowing out of the Western & Southern Open after just one match, not unlike the top two seeds Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin one day earlier. Instead, Osaka stayed alive in the Cincinnati tournament by overcoming Karolina Muchova 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 on Monday afternoon.

The world No. 10 from Japan served at just 47 percent for the match but still got broken only once in three sets, in part because she struck 12 aces. Four service breaks of Muchova helped Osaka take control at the end of the second set and then run away with the third.

Sixth seed Petra Kvitova, however, went out at the first time of asking — wilting in the heat as she was beaten 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 by her younger Czech compatriot Marie Bouzkova.

Two-time Cincinnati champion Kvitova looked superb in the first set but from midway through the second set, the heat and humidity of the day seemed to get to her and as she faded. The 22-year-old Bouzkova was able to take complete advantage.

MarieBouzkova - cropped

“I mean, definitely I had the match in my hands in the second set,” Kvitova said. “It really doesn’t matter if I made some double faults. Yeah, it was a little bit easy mistake over there. I lose that in the end of the second set, which normally should be on my side. But it’s how it is. It was my first match, you know, after such a long time, even I played some matches in Czech, but it’s still a little bit different. The weather today was unbelievable.

“I really started well. I was everything on my side. I really played aggressive and so. In the second set, she came a little bit, you know, she played a little bit better, and it was like, you know, so I did a little bit of mistake, which definitely it helped her. Overall, I mean, yeah, in the end unfortunately I think it was the energy and the heat. I didn’t really have a used to it, so that’s sad and that’s the bad thing of it. Anyway, it wasn’t really that bad. For the 22-year-old Bouzkova, it was one of the best and most special wins of her career.

Bouzkova will play 12th seed Anett Kontaveit, with the Estonian seeing off Lexington runner-up Jill Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4.

Konta gets first win

Eighth seed Johanna Konta earned her first win since the Tour resumed after the Coronavirus-enforced break, hammering Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-2, 6-0, while American Jessica Pegula continued her fine run with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over her compatriot Amanda Anisimova. No 14 seed Elise Mertens will take on Veronika Kudermetova in round three after a 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 victory over Kristina Mladenovic.

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