The Miami Open lost two of its biggest drawcards on Saturday with world number one Naomi Osaka suffering a shock third-round loss to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei after eight-times champion Serena Williams withdrew due to a knee injury.
The 33-year-old Hsieh came from a set down to prevail 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 as her unorthodox style frustrated, perplexed and finally wore down U.S. and Australian Open champion Osaka.
Osaka, who lost in the fourth round at Indian Wells and could lose her number one ranking depending on how others do in the tournament, said the mental side of her game had let her down.
“I just think I got too emotional, which is something I did last match, too,” she said. “I would just say I was kind of immature today. I was thinking too much.”
Hsieh had lost her two previous matches with Osaka, including a hard-fought contest in Melbourne in January, but came back from a break down in each of the last two sets, saving eight of the 12 break points she faced.
The Taiwanese had knocked out then world number one Simona Halep at Wimbledon last year and again demonstrated her range of clever shot making against a much more powerful opponent.
“It’s always great to pick up a better level during the match,” Hsieh said.
“Every time you’ve made it and you beat a good player, you feel: ‘Wow, this is everything. This is so amazing, and I’ve made it.’”