Naomi Osaka again failed to solve the puzzle surrounding Julia Putintseva when she lost her third consecutive game against Kazakhstan on Monday in the opening round of Wimbledon, 7-6 (4), 5-2.
Osaka had lost to Putintseva in the second round of Birmingham less than two weeks ago and also in Hobart in 2018. The second seed has not won a set against the 24-year-old.
"If you ask me now, I would say grass is the hardest track for me to learn because I played on sand, even though it was green sand in my childhood," Osaka told reporters at Wimbledon on Media Day. "But I've never played grass until I was 16 or 17. Every day I learn something while playing here, technically they only play grass three weeks a year, unlike the clay season, I just feel like my brain I have to work a lot harder every day than in the clay season. "
The second seed Japanese came out ready to fight and defeated the Kazakhs in the third game. However, this advantage did not last long when Putintseva replied in the sixth game. Later in the set, Osaka showed signs of frustration and unforeseen mistakes began to slip in. In the final Osaka wasted a 3-1
Osaka did not bet In the second set, there was a fierce fight in which two of their serve games failed.
Putintseva performs well against big players by slowing down the pace and changing the dot patterns. That's it. She played against Osaka on Monday. She used drop-shots very effectively and could disturb Osaka with her discs.
"It's amazing," Putintseva said after the match. "When I came to this place for the first time, I had never played here or even been there, so I was a bit surprised by the shape! Usually they are square, but this one was rounder, that was new. I was so excited and I think I've done a good job and fought great fights, I'm very happy now. "
Osaka has not yet regained the good shape she won two grand slams in a row. Win your first Major at the 2018 US Open and consolidate it at the 2019 Australian Open. Since her triumph in January she has only reached a semi-final in Stuttgart.
"I tried every day to learn," Osaka said. "I think it was a very humiliating experience." The French Open looked like their third big title. Together with Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova she had the chance to take the No. 1 of Ashleigh Barty. She is excluded from this contest and is herself Wimbledon.
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