Japan´s Naomi Osaka returns the ball to Spain´s Sara Sorribes throughout their Fed Cup Qualifiers first-round match between Spain and Japan on February 7, 2020 at La Manga Club in Cartagena. AFP
A tearful Naomi Osaka adopted up her Australian Open disappointment with one other shock defeat on Friday when she was overwhelmed 6-0, 6-3 by world quantity 78 Sara Sorribes Tormo within the Fed Cup.
Spain took an surprising lead over Japan within the tie in Cartagena after Sorribes Tormo capitalised on a careless efficiency from Osaka, who made an astonishing 50 unforced errors within the 15 video games.
Carla Suarez Navarro then made it 2-0 to the hosts after she eased previous Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-4.
Sorribes Tormo loved the backing of a sizeable residence crowd at La Manga Club and her consistency proved an excessive amount of for Osaka, who has by no means performed her greatest on clay.
“We knew that Sara had the game to make it very uncomfortable for Naomi,” Spain captain Anabel Medina Garrigues mentioned. “She stuck to the game plan perfectly.”
The winners of the eight qualifying ties will be part of 4 computerized entries, holders France, Australia, Czech Republic and hosts Hungary, within the inaugural Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April.
Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, has endured a shaky begin to the 12 months after being knocked out by 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff final month in Melbourne, the place she had lifted the trophy in 2019.
Since claiming her second consecutive main triumph, Osaka has dipped, failing to go previous the fourth spherical in any of the 4 Grand Slams since.
The 22-year-old, who has dropped to quantity 10 on this planet, surrendered the primary set to Sorribes Tormo in a swift 27 minutes earlier than placing up extra of a combat within the second.
But after Osaka led 2-0, Sorribes Tormo got here again and a break halfway by means of proved decisive, with a clearly disillusioned Osaka struggling to include her feelings on the end.
Sorribes Tormo’s second profession singles win in Fed Cup gave Spain the proper begin, which was prolonged by Suarez Navarro’s snug victory over Doi.
Osaka will now should beat Suarez Navarro within the reverse singles on Saturday to stop Spain reserving their place within the finals in Budapest.
Serena out-duels Ostapenko
The United States had been properly on their approach to an look within the finals after victories for 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams and newly minted Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
Kenin acquired the ball rolling for the Americans in Everett, Washington, with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Anastasija Sevastova and Williams adopted with a hard-fought 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3) win over former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
“I was obviously a little nervous coming in after Australia,” mentioned Kenin, who wanted simply 68 minutes to subdue Sevastova. “I felt tired, but I tried to get that out of my mind and just represent and do what I do best.”
Williams had a more durable time with Ostapenko, however benefitted from the Latvian’s two double faults within the first-set tiebreaker and one other double fault to offer Williams match level within the second-set decider.
Ostapenko additionally double-faulted handy Williams a break for a 6-5 lead within the second set. The US veteran couldn’t shut out the match nonetheless, dropping her personal serve and the primary two factors of the following tiebreaker earlier than storming again with 5 straight factors.
“I’m really proud of being able to get the win for the team,” mentioned Williams, who took her good file in Fed Cup singles play to 14-0.
Elsewhere, world quantity 5 Belinda Bencic thrashed Gabriela Dabrowski 6-1, 6-2 to offer Switzerland a commanding 2-0 benefit over Canada, Germany grabbed a 2-0 lead over Brazil and Slovakia took a 2-0 lead over Britain in Bratislava.
The ties between Belgium and Kazakhstan, Romania and Russia, and the Netherlands and Belarus, had been all degree at 1-1 after the opening day.