Naomi Osaka joined several other big names in falling to a second-round exit at the Madrid Open, although Emma Raducanu cruised to a routine straight-sets win over Marta Kostyuk.

Four-time grand slam winner Osaka crashed to a resounding 6-3 6-1 loss to Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, exiting her first tournament on clay since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Osaka, who had posted an underwhelming 20-15 record on the surface prior to this week, looked uncomfortable throughout and appeared to struggle with a leg injury during a disappointing second set display.

The 24-year-old was not the only high profile player to be on the receiving end of a shock during a day of drama in the Spanish capital, as several of the competition's seeds failed to secure places in the last 16.

Another home favourite, Garbine Muguruza, fell to a resounding loss of her own as Anhelina Kalinina raced to a 6-3 6-0 victory over the seventh seed, while sixth seed Danielle Collins was thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was the highest-ranked player in action, and although the world number five won the first set of her clash with Daria Kasatkina, the Greek eventually fell to a 3-6 6-3 6-1 loss, while 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez went down 6-4 6-4 to Jil Teichmann.

One big name who did make comfortable progress, however, was Fernandez's US Open conqueror Raducanu, who eased to a 6-2 6-1 win over Kostyuk to set up a last-16 encounter with another Ukrainian in Kalinina. 

The 19-year-old, who has been quoted as saying she believes clay could prove to be her best surface in the future, was delighted with her victory and enjoying the tournament after dropping just one game in the second set.

"I'm definitely happy with my performance," Raducanu said on court. "Marta's a great opponent - I knew it was going to be a really tough battle. I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it paid off.

"It's my first clay court season and I'm really enjoying it. Madrid is such a cool city and it's got such a great vibe about it. I definitely want to try and stay here for as long as possible."

Naomi Osaka was encouraged by her 2022 clay-court debut, winning her opening match at the Madrid Open against Anastasia Potapova.

The former world number one has not played on the red dirt since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Heading into this week in Madrid, Osaka had an underwhelming 20-15 record on clay, with each of her grand slam successes coming on hard courts.

But the 24-year-old has spoken of adjusting her approach and learning from clay king Rafael Nadal – and the early signs were positive.

She needed just over an hour to defeat Potapova 6-3 6-1 on Friday and said: "I'm honestly trying to be more positive with myself.

"This year I came a week early to train on red clay, so I'm just trying to give myself more chances to do better.

Osaka added: "To be able to do it in two sets, for me, it's a really good starting block. 

"I think today for me it was really fun, just being able to be back on the clay and not taking those moments for granted."

Fellow hard-court major champions Emma Raducanu and Bianca Andreescu also won their openers, although the latter required three sets to eventually coast past Alison Riske 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Raducanu will play another 19-year-old in the second round, with the US Open champion paired with Marta Kostyuk after getting over a slightly slow start to thrash Tereza Martincova 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari overcame a scare, meanwhile, ending her losing run at three matches by coming from behind to defeat Madison Keys in three sets.

"Overall, it was a very positive match to get myself back in the winning feeling," the Greek said.

Amanda Anisimova celebrated her fifth career top-10 win by beating Aryna Sabalenka again at the Madrid Open.

The 20-year-old American would have headed into Thursday's match-up full of confidence having also defeated the world number four in Charleston earlier this month.

And again Anisimova came out on top, this time at a tournament where Sabalenka was the defending champion.

Sabalenka is now 0-4 against Anisimova, losing three times on clay, with this the underdog's first ever victory in Madrid.

A 6-2 3-6 6-4 triumph was sealed in an hour and 55 minutes, with Anisimova relishing the opportunity to take on one of the sport's foremost stars once more.

"It's always enjoyable to accept the challenge, even when it's a tough match, and push yourself and see how far you can go," Anisimova said.

"I enjoy these matches, even though they're very tough – especially when you get to win them."

While Anisimova can look forward to facing Petra Martic in round two, hers was not the only upset win, with Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko also ousted.

Pliskova lost in straight sets to fellow Czech Marie Bouzkova, as Ostapenko went down in three to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Simona Halep and next opponent Paula Badosa both came through unscathed, though, as did Belinda Bencic, Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur.

Jabeur's 11-9 first-set tie-break success against Jasmine Paolini was the closest any of that quintet came to dropping a set on day one.

Emma Raducanu hailed Torben Beltz as "one of the nicest people I've met", despite deciding to split from the German coach.

The US Open champion parted company with Beltz on Tuesday after just five months together.

The duo began working together in November but have now split as the world number 11 plots the way forward ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon.

"Torben is a great guy. I really enjoyed my time with him on and off the court," Raducanu said while preparing for the Madrid Open on Wednesday. 

"He is one of the nicest people I've met, so obviously it was a tough one to split with someone like that.

"But I feel like right now I'm very comfortable with my current training. I'm feeling very confident in what I'm doing and how I'm working.

"I feel like over the last few weeks it's definitely become more apparent and especially as I've spent more time on the tour playing more matches against these top opponents, that I kind of understand what I feel like I need more of.

"I think Torben has been great for me because when I wanted someone with tour experience, I think for my first six months on the tour, it was very valuable."

The 19-year-old has recently enjoyed her best week of the season, winning back-to-back matches at the Stuttgart Open, before putting in a respectable performance in defeat to world number one Iga Swiatek.

Beltz is the third coach to move on from working with Raducanu in the last 12 months. She swapped Nigel Sears for Andrew Richardson, who worked with her at the US Open, before deciding to bring in Beltz, who previously worked with Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic.

Raducanu is scheduled to face Czech player Tereza Martincova on Friday in Madrid and will be assisted by Iain Bates at the tournament, the long-serving head of women's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Naomi Osaka believes teen tennis star Carlos Alcaraz has rejuvenated excitement around the ATP Tour, while she labelled Rafael Nadal as an inspiration ahead of the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz needed just 67 minutes to defeat Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-3 6-2 at the Barcelona Open last Sunday, claiming his third title of the season after wins in Rio de Janeiro and Miami.

The 18-year-old has surged to a career-high ninth in the world rankings, Alcaraz becoming the youngest player to crack the top 10 since fellow Spaniard Nadal achieved that feat at the same age in 2005.

Coincidentally, Nadal also broke into the top 10 after success on the same day (April 25) at the Barcelona Open and the pair will next compete in Madrid in the ATP 1000 Masters event, which starts on Sunday.

Former women's world number one Osaka revealed she is keen to cast an eye over the duo in the Spanish capital, where she faces a qualifier in the first round, as she hailed the impact Alcaraz has had.

"I feel like he's genuinely made everyone excited about the ATP and I haven't seen that in a very long time," Madrid Open wildcard Osaka said of Alcaraz, who boasts an impressive 23-3 record in the 2022 season.

"I'm not even really thinking about his age, like every time someone brings up his age, I'm like, 'Oh wow, I forget, that's so cool'.

"I think just his game style, just how pumped he is, how I feel like I'm watching him learn with every tournament.

"I don't know what his ranking was last year here, but I've watched almost every tournament that he's played, the US Open when he played [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and just to see the growth I think is really exciting for everyone."

Osaka has won all four of her grand slam titles on hard courts, but the 24-year-old will now search for clay-court success in Madrid.

Japanese Osaka has spent time preparing in Majorca, where she has used 13-time French Open winner Nadal as an inspiration, given his expertise on clay courts.

"I think I stole one of the things that he did and I've been practising it recently," she said of Nadal, who holds the record for most men's grand slam titles with 21 major triumphs to his name.

"It'll either go really good or really bad. There's like no in between. But I think as I've been doing it, it's been going pretty well.

"Honestly I've been wanting to watch the really good clay-court players practice because I feel like I'm the type of person that learns really fast if I see it up close and honestly it's a bit of a waste to have all these really good professional tennis players and not watch them."

Osaka suffered a second-round exit at the Indian Wells Masters in March, impacted by abuse from a heckler in the crowd, but rebounded by making the final in Miami, where she lost to world number one Iga Swiatek.

However, Osaka is looking to use the experience at Indian Wells, where she was reduced to tears by a spectator reportedly shouting "Naomi, you suck", as a learning curve to develop.

"I feel like there are a lot of moments in my career that are like extremely sad for me at the time but I kind of later look back on it and I think to myself, 'Well that really made me grow as a person, and even though I really hated the experience, I'm glad it happened to me'," she added.

"For me, that's one of those moments. I wish it didn't happen, but also I'm glad that it did.

"I feel like it prepared me for a lot of things that may or may not happen, but it's kind of like one of those things you have in your back pocket as experience."

World number one Iga Swiatek will not play the Madrid Open after suffering a shoulder injury.

The Pole is in stunning form, having won four titles in a row after prevailing in the Stuttgart Open last time out.

Before that, the 20-year-old – whose winning streak stands at 23 matches – had lifted the trophy at the Qatar Ladies Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open.

"After intense last weeks and winning four titles in a row, it's time to take care of my arm that has been fatigued since the Miami Open and I haven't had a chance to handle it properly," Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.

"I need a break from playing so intensively in order to treat my arm well and that's why, unfortunately, I have to withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open. 

"My body needs rest. I'm going to take some time to prepare for Rome and Paris. See you soon there.

"Hopefully, I will play in Madrid many times in the future – I'm looking forward to it."

Swiatek was due to be top seed in the Spanish capital.

Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his Wimbledon title this year as players will not need to be vaccinated against coronavirus to feature in the tournament.

World number one Djokovic was unable to compete in the 2022 Australian Open after he was deported from the country in January.

The Australian government cancelled the Serbian's visa on "health and good order" grounds and he failed with an attempt to overturn that decision in court.

Djokovic will be able to play in the grass-court grand slam at the All England Club, though, due to a lack of COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom.

All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) chief executive Sally Bolton said during a media briefing on Tuesday: "As you will be aware, the requirements set up by the government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccinations.

"Therefore, whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry in order to compete in the Championships this year."

Djokovic can also play in the French Open following the easing of restrictions.

There will be no Russian or Belarusian players when Wimbledon is staged from June 27 to July 10 at SW19 due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt says the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from Wimbledon was the "most responsible decision possible in the circumstances."

Organisers of the grass-court grand slam confirmed this month that players from both nations would be barred from featuring in the tournament due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision was met by a significant backlash, with world number eight Andrey Rublev describing the decision as "discrimination" and Novak Djokovic stating he could not support it.

But speaking at the 2022 Wimbledon media briefing, Hewitt sought to clarify the process by which the decision was made.

"After lengthy and careful consideration we came to two firm conclusions that have formed the basis for our decision," he told reporters.

"First, even if we were to accept entries from Russia and Belarusian players with written declarations we would risk their success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime which we could not accept.

"Second, we have a duty to ensure that no actions we take should put the safety of players or their families at risk."

All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) chief executive Sally Bolton shed further light on the process of making such an "an immensely difficult decision." 

"We recognise that whatever decision we took would be setting a precedent," she added.

"We made our judgement in the scale of the response to an international war, the consequences of which reach far wider than the sport of tennis.

"We appreciate that this is an immensely difficult decision, and that people have different views which we respect and understand.

"We are deeply regretful of the impact that this will have on every single player who is affected.

"We are in ongoing dialogue with the players, with the tours, with the ITF and with our fellow grand slams, and will continue to work with them over the coming weeks.

"We believe that this decision is the only viable option for Wimbledon."

Wimbledon also confirmed that players who have not received a coronavirus vaccination will be allowed to enter the tournament. 

Djokovic hit the headlines when he was unable to play in the Australian Open this year after being deported due to his vaccination status.

Emma Raducanu has parted company with another coach as the US Open champion seeks the right combination to keep her at the top of the game.

The world number 11, who was a shock winner at Flushing Meadows last September, announced on Tuesday she and Torben Beltz would no longer be working together.

German coach Beltz came on board in November but departs as Raducanu plots the way forward ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon.  The 19-year-old Raducanu says she needs "a new training model".

Beltz becomes the third coach to move on from working with Raducanu in the last 12 months. She swapped Nigel Sears for Andrew Richardson, who was in her corner at the US Open, before electing to bring on board the experienced Beltz, who previously worked with Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic.

Raducanu said of her decision: "I want to thank Torben for his dedication. He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together."

She is preparing to play at the Madrid Open and will be assisted there by Iain Bates, the long-serving head of women's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Raducanu has yet to indicate what direction she will go in regarding her next full-time hire, although working with the teenager is likely to remain an attractive prospect for leading coaches.

She said: "The best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim."

Although Raducanu has continued to climb the WTA rankings, she has managed just five wins from 12 matches on tour this year, losing a close contest to world number one Iga Swiatek in the Stuttgart quarter-finals last week.

World number one Iga Swiatek maintained her impressive form by seeing off Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets in Sunday's Stuttgart Open final to win a fourth straight WTA title.

Swiatek was made to work hard in Saturday's semi-final against Liudmila Samsonova as she dropped a rare set, but she was back to her imperious best against Sabalenka.

The 20-year-old prevailed 6-2 6-2 in 84 minutes to make it 23 victories in a row – only five other different players have enjoyed longer winning runs since 2000.

With her latest triumph in Germany, Swiatek has now won 30 WTA matches in 2022, compared to 36 in the whole of 2021.

She has won the Qatar Ladies Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open in straight succession, having also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

 

Sabalenka, who eliminated Paula Badosa, Anett Kontaveit and Bianca Andreescu en route to the final, was the latest player to fall short in trying to stop the sublime Swiatek.

After saving a break point in the opening game, Swiatek held serve and broke her opponent in the next game before comfortably seeing out the first set.

The Pole never looked under serious threat in the second set as she took the last four games to down world number four Sabalenka, who lost to Ash Barty in this final last year.

At the Istanbul Cup, meanwhile, Anastasia Potapova beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-1 to clinch her maiden career title.

Qualifier Potapova recovered from a set down to beat Yulia Putintseva in Saturday's semi-final and was too strong for Kudermetova in what was her third career final.

Kudermetova broke Potapova early on and led 3-1 in the opening set, but the latter soon found her range and took advantage of some sloppy mistakes from her opponent.

After battling to victory in the first set, Potapova looked far more comfortable in the second as she produced a number of impressive shots en route to a breakthrough triumph.

Iga Swiatek had to come from a set down to book her place in the Stuttgart Open final with a hard-earned victory over Liudmila Samsonova.

The world number one produced a 22nd consecutive victory as she scraped a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 win in a contest that lasted more than three hours.

The Pole will face third seed Aryna Sabalenka in Sunday's final on the German clay.

Swiatek broke early to race out to a 3-0 lead, but was pegged back by her Russian opponent, who fought hard to claim the first set on a tie-break.

The 20-year-old was looking to break the record of Serena Williams, equalling a feat of winning 28 sets in a row, but Samsonova prevented her from doing so.

It was the first time Swiatek had dropped a set since her Indian Wells Open last 16 match against Angelique Kerber in March, but she soon got back into her rhythm and clinched the second set 6-4.

She broke early again in the decider, but was once more broken back by a determined Samsonova, and Swiatek showed frustration with herself as she struggled to put away her opponent.

However, an unusually sloppy service game from Samsonova gave Swiatek another break in the 11th game of the set, which she closed out to seal her place in the final.

The other semi-final in Stuttgart saw Sabalenka overcome second seed Paula Badosa 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

There were 14 double faults (seven each) in the match, but it was Sabalenka's big serve that ultimately led her to victory, hitting nine aces and winning 76.9 per cent of points on her first serve.

The Belarusian also saved six of eight break points faced as she ultimately eased past her Spanish opponent.

At the Istanbul Cup, third seed Veronika Kudermetova will play Anastasia Potapova in the final after seeing off second seed Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, 6-3 6-3.

Potapova had earlier come from a set down to beat Yulia Putintseva 2-6 6-2 6-2 in the other semi-final.

Iga Swiatek believes a hard-won victory over Emma Raducanu on Friday will steel her for challenges ahead after reaching the Stuttgart Open semi-finals.

World number one Swiatek landed a 21st consecutive victory as she edged out US Open winner Raducanu 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 45 minutes on the German clay.

There was plenty to admire from both players, but in the end it was another straight-sets success for Swiatek, who dropped only two games in her previous round against German Eva Lys.

It makes the 20-year-old Pole the first woman to win 28 consecutive sets on tour since Serena Williams, who did so from the 2012 US Open to the 2013 Australian Open.

Swiatek broke early in the first set to take charge, and with 19-year-old Raducanu battling a back problem the rankings leader soon got ahead in the second too.

This was Raducanu's first-ever match against a player ranked inside the WTA top 10, a peculiar statistic given she is already a grand slam champion.

Swiatek, like her opponent, knows how it feels to win a grand slam as a teenage surprise package, having triumphed as a 19-year-old at the 2020 French Open when ranked only 54th in the world.

At 4-3 in the second set of this contest, Swiatek saved two break points with clinical forehand winners out of the reach of Raducanu, shouting out in satisfaction moments later as she held serve to move a game away.

Raducanu had two more break chances in Swiatek's next service game but again could not convert as her opponent sealed victory.

Swiatek said: "I'm pretty happy that today's match was longer. Not for now, but for the future it's going to give me a lot of experience.

"Right now I want to play really aggressively, and I think this game style is going to fit the surface, and it fit the hardcourts as well."

She will face unseeded Liudmila Samsonova next after the Russian, playing as a neutral, beat Laura Siegemund 7-5 6-3.

The other semi-final in Stuttgart will see second seed Paula Badosa take on third seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Badosa was a 7-6 (11-9) 1-6 6-3 winner against Ons Jabeur, while Sabalenka fended off Anett Kontaveit 6-4 3-6 6-1.

At the Istanbul Cup, Friday saw quarter-final wins for Veronika Kudermetova and Anastasia Potapova, along with Sorana Cirstea and Yulia Putintseva.

Those results set up a semi-final on Saturday between second seed Cirstea and third seed Kudermetova, with Putintseva and Potapova also facing off.

Thomas Tuchel declared himself a big fan of Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton after the superstar pair joined a consortium bidding to buy Chelsea.

British motorsport star Hamilton, 37, has earned nearly $500million in his Formula One career, while American tennis great Williams has also acquired major wealth while landing 23 grand slam singles titles.

They will reportedly be chipping in $10m each to Martin Broughton's consortium and have been "constantly in touch", Hamilton said, about the prospect of being part of a successful quest to acquire the Premier League club.

Hamilton, despite being an Arsenal fan, said businessman Broughton's ambitions for Chelsea were "incredibly exciting, and very much aligned with my values".

Chelsea head coach Tuchel said on Friday: "I just heard it, I just got a briefing and heard it.

"I can tell you no more than I'm a big admirer of both of them. They are fantastic personalities on the court and the racetrack.

"They are outstanding sports figures in what they do, for which they have my biggest respect, but I have absolutely no insight in the role they're playing."

Chelsea's long-time owner Roman Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, announced his intentions to sell the Premier League club earlier in March.

Andrey Rublev says Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players is "complete discrimination" and does not make sense.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club this week announced that players from the two nations are prohibited from competing in the event following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rublev is one of three top-10 players, alongside compatriot Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who has been blocked from playing at SW19 in June. 

World number one Novak Djokovic labelled the decision "crazy", while Billie Jean King and governing bodies ATP and WTA have also called for a rethink.

Rublev, whose best finish at Wimbledon came last year when reaching round four, believes there is a more logical solution.

"What is happening now is complete discrimination against us," he told reporters after beating Jiri Lehecka on Thursday to progress to the Serbia Open quarter-finals.

"The reasons they gave us had no sense, they were not logical. Banning Russian or Belarusian players... will not change anything.

"To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect to humanitarian help, to the families who are suffering, to the kids who are suffering.

"I think that would do something. Tennis will, in that case, be the first and only sport who donates that amount of money and it will be Wimbledon so they will take all the glory."

The Belarusian Tennis Federation released a statement on Thursday stating it is seeking legal advice regarding the decision to ban their players from Wimbledon.

"Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts but only incite hatred and intolerance on a national basis," the governing body said.

Emma Raducanu will take on Iga Swiatek in an intriguing quarter-final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix but Maria Sakkari and Karolina Pliskova were eliminated. 

US Open champion Raducanu overcame Tamara Korpatsch 6-0 2-6 6-1 to set up a meeting with world number one Swiatek. 

It will be the pair's first meeting on the WTA Tour and Raducanu's maiden encounter with a top-10 opponent. 

The Briton, who is playing her first Tour-level clay-court event, won 90 per cent of points on her first serve in the opening set but that slipped to 56 per cent as she opened the door to a comeback in the second. 

However, Raducanu rediscovered her composure in the decider and got over the line after an hour and 39 minutes.

Fourth seed Sakkari retired while 6-4 3-1 down to home hope Laura Siegemund, who will take on Liudmila Samsonova after she bested Pliskova 6-4 6-4. 

Paula Badosa came through a third-set tie-break to beat Elena Rybakina 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) and Aryna Sabalenka put a spanner in the works of Bianca Andreescu's comeback by taking their match 6-1 3-6 6-2. 

Ons Jabeur beat Daria Kasatkina and Anett Kontaveit eventually ousted Ekaterina Alexandrova in a tie-break finale after surrendering the first set.

At the Istanbul Cup, third seed Veronika Kudermetova was granted a walkover against Ana Bogdan.  

Seeds Ajla Tomljanovic (6) and Sara Sorribes Tormo (7) got past Lesia Tsurenko and Varvara Gracheva respectively, while there were also wins for Yulia Putintseva and Anastasia Potapova. 

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