Karolina Muchova celebrated this week’s rise to the Top 20 by surprising second seed Naomi Osaka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in a Sunday second-round shock at the Madrid Masters.
The Czech produced her tenth win over a Top 5 opponent with the upset in just over an hour and three-quarters.
It came less than three months after she beat world No. 1 Ash Barty in the Australian Open quarter-finals before losing in the Grand Slam semi-final to Jennifer Brady.
Muchova had dealt with an abdominal muscle injury after her Melbourne success but looked on full form in her knockout of Japan’s four-time Grand Slam winner.
Muchova ended with nearly 30 winners, breaking the seed four times.
After dropping the opening set, Osaka levelled by winning the last five games of the second.
But Muchova would not be denied, breaking early and late in the deciding set and advancing on her first match point.
“I tried my best throughout the entire match, I have dips sometimes but I think I can be positive about that,” Osaka said.
“Tennis-wise, I was too defensive in the first set; halfway through the second I was able to adjust that, and then the third I just started off really bad.
“I wouldn’t say I’m happy I lost, but I learned a lot.
Osaka will not let her early loss be a drag on the rest of her clay season.
“I have a pretty positive outlook; I know I can’t control the outcome of this match but I can control my attitude and how hard I fought.
“Physically I didn’t get tired. I was just, made some pretty bad decisions in really crucial moments.”
Main photo:- Karolina Muchova celebrates beating 2nd seed Naomi Osaka ©WTATennis.com