Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic were knocked out in the first round of the Cincinnati tournament, as Karolina Pliskova edged out Venus Williams. Coco Gauff had to give up against Marie Bouzkova.
Still only one victory on the clock for Naomi Osaka since the end of April. Falling back to 39th in the world, the Japanese girl is going through her American summer hard court tour, with a second-round defeat in San Jose, and entry to Toronto and Cincinnati. In Ohio, the former No. 1 suffered the law of the Chinese Shuai Zhang, 44th, with the score of 6-4, 7-5. Despite her 10 aces on the counter, she lost her serve three times: at the start of the first set, and she was never able to come back, then at 1-1 and 5-5 in the second. Zhang then concluded with a shutout, and it is she who will face the Russian Alexandrova. Another big name fell on Tuesday in the first round, in the person of Olympic champion and world No. 11, Belinda Bencic. The Swiss was eliminated by Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, who won 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 in 2:38, in a match marked by seven breaks. The 40th in the world easily won the first set, then lost the second 7-3 in the tie-break after finding herself two points from the match, before finally winning this meeting thanks to a last set entry break.
Gauff twists his ankle and gives up
World No. 12 Coco Gauff also took the door, but for her it was an abandonment. While leading 5-3 in the first set against Marie Bouzkova, the American twisted her ankle and then lost five games in a row. Eleven days before the start of the US Open, the Floridian did not want to take any risks and decided to throw in the towel. Finally, Karolina Pliskova, seeded n°14, enforced logic by dominating Venus Williams 7-5, 6-1, despite an irregular service (8 aces, 6 double faults), and after having was down 4-2 in the first set. Then the rain came and the other meetings were interrupted.