Naomi Osaka crashes out to Zhang in Cincinnati
Tennis is not going well for Osaka lately as she is continuing to struggle with her game. One glaring weakness of her game in recent months has been the return. Zhang was hitting rather mediocre serves all match long and the Japanese was unable to find a way to bother her. It's nothing new and it's been a problem for a while.
She opened the first set with a lacklustre service game dropping it to give Zhang an immediate confidence booster. Her return woes gave Zhang a free pass in most service games and it wasn't until 2-3 that Osaka got her first break point. She squandered it and Zhang escaped with the game continuing a comfortable journey towards the first set.
Things weren't much better for Osaka in the 2nd set either. Once again she dropped her serve relatively easily and once again her return was just useless. Error after error gave Zhang many free points as the Chinese continued to cruise. Osaka finally managed to produce some break points at 5-4 when Zhang served for the match and she got a breakthrough.
It didn't last long though as Osaka dropped her serve in the very next game giving Zhang another chance to close it out. She did not repeat the same mistake and finished off the match 7-5.