Osaka sends Serena packing in first round of Miami Open
Serena Williams' stay at the Miami Open lasted just 77 minutes.
Japan's Naomi Osaka overpowered Williams and posted a 6-3, 6-2 victory at Key Biscayne, Fla., in Wednesday's first round of the event that Williams has won eight times.
Osaka recorded seven aces in the easy victory, which comes three days after she won her first WTA title. The 20-year-old dominated Russian Daria Kasatkina to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif.
She is off to a good start in Miami after controlling the match against the 36-year-old Williams, who has lost consecutive matches for the first time since 2009.
Osaka, ranked 22nd in the world, has won her last eight matches. However, she felt plenty of anxiety before heading to the court on Wednesday.
"I was extremely nervous coming on to the court," Osaka said in a postmatch interview with the Tennis Channel. "I don't know if anybody knows this but Serena is my favorite player, so just playing against her is kind of like a dream for me.
"I'm very grateful that I was able to play her and it is even better that I was able to win."
Osaka said she wanted to impress Williams and she probably did just that during the straight-set victory.
Williams is recently back on the tour after being away for the birth of her first child. She is still working herself back into top tennis shape.
She also was a no-show for her press conference after losing to Osaka, with reports circulating that she stormed out of the tennis venue and was driven away.
Osaka will face fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in Friday's second round.
Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain advanced without even playing as American Amanda Anisimova, age 16, withdrew with a right foot injury.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus got off to a strong start by rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over American CiCi Bellis.
In other matches, Frenchwoman Alize Cornet posted a 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands; Carina Witthoeft defeated fellow German Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-4; Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas ousted American Jennifer Brady 7-5, 7-6 (8); Russian Ekaterina Makarova was a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 winner over Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky; Romania's Monica Niculescu defeated Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-4; and American Alison Riske rallied for a 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Poland's Magda Linette.
American Varvara Lepchenko posted a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 win over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic, while Danielle Collins of the United States routed Romania's Irina Begu 6-1, 6-1. American Sofia Kenin topped Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-4. Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus knocked out Madison Brengle of the United States 6-1, 6-4, and Petra Martic of Croatia defeated American Lauren Davis 6-1, 7-5.
Other winners were China's Yafan Wang, Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh, France's Oceane Dodin, Russia's Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Germany's Andrea Petkovic, Croatia's Donna Vekic and Puerto Rico's Monica Puig.
The tournament's 32 seeds, including No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, received first-round byes.
--Field Level Media