Osaka, Zverev, Tsitsipas crash on Wimbledon ‘Black Monday’

Agence France-Presse
Osaka, Zverev, Tsitsipas crash on Wimbledon ‘Black Monday’
'Can we stop now? I think I am going to cry,' says Naomi Osaka after her 1st round exit

LONDON, United Kingdom – Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out of Wimbledon on a black Monday, July 1, for the stars at the All England Club.

Japanese superstar slumped to a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 defeat to 39th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan who had defeated the world No. 2 on grass in Birmingham two weeks ago.

She was joined at the exit door by German 6th seed Zverev and Tsitsipas, the 7th seed, both players tipped as potential champions this year.

US Open and Australian Open winner Osaka is the first top-two seed to lose in the first round since Martina Hingis in 2001.

The defeat follows her 3rd round exit at the French Open.

“Can we stop now? I think I am going to cry,” she told reporters as she made a quick exit from her post-match news conference.

Osaka has yet to make a final since her Australian Open win in January.

“There are answers to questions that you guys ask that I still haven’t figured out yet,” she admitted.

Zverev, 22, lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely, the world No. 124.

“Everything outside the court affects you, I won’t get into details now, but the last couple of days have been very rough for me,” said Zverev who has never got beyond the last 16.

Just 15 minutes after Zverev’s defeat, 20-year-old Tsitsipas lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 to world No. 89 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy.

Tsitsipas had reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January and the last-16 at Roland Garros as well as the 4th round at Wimbledon last year.

‘I feel devastated’

“If I won today I would not have deserved it. It should have been over in 3 sets,” said Tsitsipas.

“I feel devastated.”

Canadian 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime kept ‘NextGen’ hopes alive by beating Canadian compatriot Vasek Pospisil 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

Victory made the 19th seed the first player born in the 2000s to win a match at Wimbledon.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic got his campaign for a fifth Wimbledon title off to a winning start with newly-hired coaching team recruit, and 2001 winner, Goran Ivanisevic helping steer the ship.

Djokovic, chasing a fifth title at the All England Club, saw off 35-year-old Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

If his victory was routine, there was nothing predictable about Djokovic’s decision to bring Ivanisevic into his inner sanctum over the weekend.

“I have always looked up to Goran. When he won here in 2001, I feel I was part of that as he had trained in Germany at the same base as me when I was 13-14,” said Djokovic.

“I feel as if I contributed to his victory,” joked Djokovic who next faces Denis Kudla of the United States.

Fourth seed Kevin Anderson, runner-up to Djokovic in 2018, eased into the second round beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Anderson will now play Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic who registered his first win at the tournament in 7 years when he defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

In the women’s event, third seed Karolina Pliskova made it through, beating China’s Zhu Lin 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).

Czech former world No. 1 Pliskova, fresh from winning the Eastbourne title, has never got past the 4th round at Wimbledon.

Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova, a semi-finalist in 2017, put out 10th seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-4 in just 70 minutes.

Also heading home was French Open runner-up and 16th seed Marketa Vondrousova.

The 19-year-old Czech lost 6-4, 6-4 to America’s Madison Brengle who is used to pulling off Wimbledon shocks having knocked out two-time winner Petra Kvitova in 2017.

Former French Open champion Simona Halep overcame an injury scare to make the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Halep, seeded seven and a semi-finalist in 2014, needed to have her left ankle strapped after a worrying fall on Court One.

Later Monday, five-time champion Venus Williams, now 39, who first played at the All England Club in 1997, takes on 15-year-old compatriot Cori Gauff.

Gauff is the youngest player ever to have qualified for Wimbledon and comes into the tournament ranked at 313 in the world. –

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