Osaka could lose No 1 ranking

Last Updated: 10/05/19 11:03am

Naomi Osaka lost to Belinda Bencic at the Madrid Open

Naomi Osaka lost to Belinda Bencic at the Madrid Open

Naomi Osaka could lose the world No 1 ranking after defeat by Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.

Reaching the last four would have secured Osaka’s grasp on top spot for another week but her 3-6 6-2 7-5 loss to resurgent Swiss Bencic means Simona Halep can overtake her by winning the title.

Japan’s Osaka has limited experience on clay but looked poised for a fine win when she served for the match at 5-4 in the decider only for Bencic to reel off three games in a row and book a clash with Halep.

Simona Halep can become No 1 by winning the title

Simona Halep can become No 1 by winning the title

The Romanian advanced via a 7-5 7-5 victory over Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova also crashed out, the three-time winner being beaten 6-2 6-3 by Kiki Bertens in a rematch of last year’s final.

Her semi-final opponent is Sloane Stephens, who defeated Petra Martic 6-4 6-3.

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