The fabulous Serena Williams left the Miami Open without speaking to the media. The champ who has won the event a record-setting eight times, suffered a rare first-round loss to Naomi Osaka, 20. The superstar flashed a smile that seemed to acknowledge her unusual performance and moved on.
Williams considers the Key Biscayne event her hometown tournament. The new mom and tennis legend lives just 90 miles north in Palm Beach Gardens.
Osaka, fresh off of her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, met the tennis legend early in the Open, since both players entered unseeded. Osaka ranked her career best at 22nd, while Williams entered at 491st after a break of more than a year.
Williams career has allowed only four other times that the champ was eliminated in the first round, most recently at the 2012 French Open.
The tournament is set to move to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, where Williams helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday.
Osaka, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, was playing Williams for the first time and showed no mercy to her idol. The up and coming tennis player improved to 14-4 this year.
Things may get tougher for Osaka in the second round, when she’ll face the number 4-seeded Elina Svitolina.