Teichmann takes down Osaka in Cincinnati, Pliskova finally beats Pegula
Naomi Osaka is out of Cincinnati after just two matches, having lost to Jil Teichmann on Thursday. Karolina Pliskova advanced with a revenge-taking win over Jessica Pegula.
The door was closed on Naomi Osaka‘s Western & Southern Open campaign when she was stunned by Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 during third-round action on Thursday night. Osaka struck 41 unforced errors compared to only17 winners as she crashed out after two hours and four minutes.
It was a roller-coaster ride worthy of being hosted by the nearby King’s Island theme park. Osaka gave back one break in the first set and was a break point away from giving back another one at 4-3, but she managed to close it out. Teichmann answered by converting her fourth break point in the second set. The 24-year-old Spaniard added another break at 5-3 to wrap it up in style.
Osaka seemed to regain control when she broke for 1-0 in the decider. However, double-faults and unforced errors from the baseline continued to spray left and right. Teichmann broke back easily for 2-2 and struck again for a 4-2 advantage only to give it right back with two double-faults of her won. The back-and-forth battle kept going as the world No 76 broke yet again for 5-3. Toeing the line for the biggest service game of her career, Teichmann finally settle her serving nerves and wrapped up her monumental victory in style.
“Literally I’m shaking right now,” Teichmann said during her on-court interview. “I’m very, very happy with this win. I had a lot of injuries at the beginning of the year and I’m just really, really happy that it’s working out right now.”
Teichmann will next take on fellow Swiss, 10th seed Belinda Bencic, who reached the last eight when her opponent Karolina Muchova retired due to injury while trailing 7-5, 2-1. Bencic will be hoping to extend her winning streak after winning the Olympic singles gold medal in Tokyo. She also claimed the women’s doubles silver medal in Tokyo with partner Viktorija Golubic.
Pliskova gets over the hump against Pegula
Nobody on Thursday posted a more satisfying win than Karolina Pliskova.
Heading into her third-round match against Jessica Pegula, Pliskova was a hopeless 0-4 in the head-to-head series. She was a horrendous 1-8 in total sets against the American, as well. Among the set scores were 6-3, 6-1, 6-0, 6-2, and 6-2. All four of the Czech’s losses had come in 2021, too–a five-month stretch of humiliation in this matchup.
At long last, however, Pliskova got her revenge by beating Pegula 6-4, 7-6(5) in the Cincinnati third around. The Wimbledon runner-up needed some help in order to do it, as she hit a winner off the net cord at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker after missing four match points in a row from 6-1 ahead.
“(It was a) super weird (match),” Pliskova assessed, “but really I’m so happy because I was scared to lose to (the) same player five times. So I’m really happy that somehow I found a way, although it was not a pretty match at all I think from both of us–quite many mistakes, also a lot of winners, but I guess that’s our game. “
“At least (in) the last three matches which we played I had some chances; the first two were a disaster. (In) Miami and Berlin I I was a bit closer, and that gave me a bit of hope. I also think she always plays kind of well against me because I guess I give her nice ball and nice rhythm and she likes the pace and likes if somebody is playing fast and she likes the speed.
“I think I’m proud the most about how I stayed in this match, because of course I was losing, and we know it can go fast if you’re (down) 1-4, double-break, and 0-5. So I was proud about how I stayed and managed somehow to be like always closer to her and find a way to win.”
Pliskova will next meet Spain’s Paula Badosa, who defeated Elena Rybakina 6-2, 7-6 to continue her impressive season in 2021.