Champ sent packing after emotional meltdown
Top-ranked Naomi Osaka suffered a shock meltdown to lose to tour veteran Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan in the third round of the Miami Open, going down, 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-3.
Osaka's departure matched the earliest ever exit in the tournament by a top-seeded woman. It was the first time in 64 matches Osaka - who secured the world No. 1 ranking after winning this year's Australian Open crown - has lost after winning the first set.
The 33-year-old Hsieh closed out match point with a forehand volley winner, and then began to cry as the stadium crowd applauded her performance. She has three other victories over top-five players, including an upset of No. 1 Simona Halep at Wimbledon last year.
It's also the third time she's beaten a top-10 player this in 2019 as the likeable star enjoys a career renaissance.
The upset came as Osaka struggled to control her temper. More than once her racquet found itself on the floor rather than in her hands as the Japanese star lost control of her emotions and then the match.
Osaka totally desperate, down 3-5 in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/JgtCfAmH9P— José Morgado (@josemorgado) 23 March 2019
In other matches, Ashleigh Barty has progressed to the fourth round after winning her All-Australian showdown against Samantha Stosur in straight sets. In the second career meeting between the two players, it was the nation's top-ranked player who came out on top against former US Open champion Stosur, earning a comprehensive 6-0 6-3 win in 58 minutes.
World No. 2 Petra Kvitova was extended to three sets before the Czech overcame Croatia's Donna Vekic in the third round. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova finally prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the clash between two heavy hitters, requiring more than two-and-a-half hours. Kvitova, the third seed, will next meet France's Caroline Garcia.
Garcia had earlier knocked out 15th seed Julia Goerges, of Germany, 6-0 7-5.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, withdrew from the Miami event with a knee injury, marking the second consecutive WTA event in which the American has been unable to continue, after her retirement from last week's Indian Wells event with illness.
"I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here," the 36-year-old Williams said.
Former world No. 1 Williams, an eight-time Miami Open winner, showed no signs of injury while winning her opener against Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-3 1-6 6-1.