Osaka defeated by Samsonova in Madrid epic

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Osaka defeated by Samsonova in Madrid epic

Naomi Osaka suffered a second-round exit to 15th seed Liudmila Samsonova at the Madrid Open after an epic encounter lasting nearly two and a half hours.

In a first set that was to bely the enthralling encounter to follow, Osaka swiftly fell behind 4-0 on her way to losing the opener 6-2, while she was also broken early in both the second and third sets.

On each occasion Osaka rallied, rattling off four games in a row from 4-3 down in the second to level things up at one set apiece as Samsonova appeared to lose her nerve.

At 4-3 up, Samsonova sent down three double faults to be broken and lose her advantage and then, in her next service game, having saved two set points from 15-40 down, she double-faulted again after Osaka eked out a third.

In a hugely tight third set, Samsonova finally earned the decisive break in the 11th game before this time holding her nerve to serve out the match for a 6-2 4-6 7-5 win over the four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka.

Samsonova will next face 18th-seeded American Madison Keys in the third round.

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