Osaka are hoping to learn a lesson after a winning streak in 23 games

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© Reuters. Tennis: Miami Open

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(Reuters) – Naomi Osaka got so used to dominance that she wasn’t immediately sure what lessons to learn after her streak of 23 games at the Miami Open came to an abrupt end in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

Osaka, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champions, whose last defeat came in February 2020, was beaten 6-0 to 6-4 by the Greek 23rd seed Maria Sakkari.

“I think even if you aren’t playing great you should still find ways to win. I’m trying to find ways to do it,” said Osaka.

“Hopefully I won’t lose like this a few more times, but I think the more things like this happen, the more I’ll learn from it.”

The Japanese runner-up’s early exit also put an end to any hopes she had to regain world number one from Australian Ash Barty, who made it through to the Miami semi-finals.

For the first time since the WTA tour resumed last July, the top placement in Miami could have changed hands, but Osaka had to at least reach the final for that.

Osaka, who appeared calm and collected while winning four Grand Slam titles in multiple high pressure situations on the pitch, admitted that talk of rankings may have beaten her.

“It’s hard to say but I think the last time I was on this pitch I wasn’t really thinking about rankings at all, but someone asked me that question so I started thinking about it a lot.” said Osaka.

“So maybe involuntarily, that put pressure on me. But I have the feeling that even if it were, I should be able to rise above it.”

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