World number one Osaka suffers shock defeat in Birmingham

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2019

World number one Naomi Osaka followed up her early French Open exit with a shock second-round loss to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in Birmingham.

The Japanese 21-year-old could fall in the rankings after losing 6-2 6-3.

Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, 23, may soon replace Osaka at the top after reaching the quarter-finals.

In Mallorca, 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber beat Maria Sharapova, who missed the clay-court season after having shoulder surgery.

The German 31-year-old defeated Sharapova, who has dropped to 85th in the world rankings, 6-2 6-3.

The Mallorca Open was 32-year-old Russian Sharapova’s first tournament since she withdrew from a second-round match at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in January.

Barty beat American Jennifer Brady 6-3 6-1 and is now close to taking the world number one ranking from US Open and Australian Open champion Osaka, who was beaten by unseeded Czech player Katerina Siniakova in the French Open third round.

Osaka would have stayed top if she had reached the final in Birmingham, but if Barty wins the title she will become world number one.

“The stars have aligned a little bit for me and I think when you get those opportunities you have to do your best to take them with both hands,” said Barty, who has now won nine matches in a row.

The Birmingham Nature Valley Classic and Mallorca Open are grass-court tournaments which take place in the run-up to Wimbledon.

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