Naomi Osaka had her 23match unbeaten ended by Maria Sakkari and has vouched to learn from the defeat and return stronger on clay. Osaka had not lost since the Billy Jean King qualifiers last February, a run that included victories in both the Australian Open and US Open. Osaka was shocked by Maria Sakkari in straight sets in the last eight of the Miami Open.
“I feel like even if you’re not playing great, you should still find ways to win. I’m trying to find ways to do that,” Osaka said. “Hopefully, I don’t lose like this a couple more times, but I think the more times that stuff like this happens, the more I’ll learn from it. I think this is the furthest that I have ever gone in this tournament, so that’s something that I can be happy with within the end.”
The Japanese’s early exit has quashed her hopes of regaining the Number One ranking from Ash Barty after the latter won her quarter-final match. Osaka has shown that she can remain calm in high-pressure situations but admitted that all the talk about rankings might have got to her.
“It’s hard to say, but I do think like the last time I was in this seat I wasn’t really thinking at all about rankings, but someone asked me that question, so then I did start to ponder about it a lot,” Osaka added.