Naomi Osaka continues fine form, eases past Serena Williams — WTA Miami

Serena Williams helps break ground for new Miami Open site - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Osaka, who jumped 22 places to No. 22 following her victory at Indian Wells, spoke of her admiration for Williams after the match, saying she "wanted to impress" the player who inspired her to pursue a tennis career.

After such a strong end to the opening set, Osaka remained in control of the early stages of the second set, dominating play as she rebounded from missing an early break point at 1-0 to eventually break for a 3-1 lead in the second.

Williams' loss in the first round of Miami is first time she has lost in the opening round of a United States hard-court event in 21-years.

Williams who is still shaking out the cobwebs in her comeback, smiled at the net after defeat.

It was always going to be a tough task for Serena to overcome Osaka and it did. She left without talking to the media, though she did issue a statement: "Every tournament is an opportunity for me to better understand the areas I need to improve to be my best".

Osaka whose title at Indian Wells was her first on the WTA Tour, showed no sign of a letdown from this past weekend. It set up a rare early encounter between one of the great players of all time and one of the hottest current players. Williams led 40-0, but Osaka had other ideas with a huge forehand return followed by a backhand victor as Williams made another unforced error.

Indian Wells champion Osaka ran Williams ragged in an incredible display, recovering from a hard start to set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Elina Svitolina.

"I don't know if anybody knows this but Serena is my favourite player".

Despite all these setbacks, there is no doubt in our mind that Williams will be back in top form and lifting Grand Slam titles.

"It was a different type of nerves. The final in Indian Wells was different because I had never been in that position".

It started well for Williams, on her comeback after delivering a baby as she held to love in the first game. "I hope they revisit those talks although it will be too late for her unless she decides to have another child".

"I kind of blanked out".

Osaka admitted still feeling star-struck when Williams congratulated her on the win.

The Boca Raton-based Osaka, daughter of a Haitian-American father and Japanese mother, dominated Williams (her idol) from start to finish with her heavy groundstrokes and composure that belied her age and experience. Williams also revealed that her training was delayed as she "almost died" after suffering blood clots in her lungs and abdomen and was bedridden for six weeks after giving birth! She led 4-1, 5-2 before wrapping up the game in just over an hour.

Osaka was hitting the ball beautifully and broke again to take the first set with relative ease.

Naomi Osaka continues her winning streak.

Osaka was more succinct when describing her emotions on Twitter. I'm pretty sure she said, 'good job, ' " Osaka told a news conference. "It's sort of this respect thing, but you also want to win really bad. I knew then maybe she would be trying a little bit".

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