World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty suffers stunning upset in Tokyo

·Yahoo Sports Columnist
·2-min read

TOKYO — The women's draw saw a major upset during Sunday's first match on centre court, with top seed and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty upset by Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4, 6-3.

Barty, an Australian who is coming off a three-set win for her first Wimbledon crown last month, seemed off from the start, as Sorribes Tormo broke her on her first service game of the match and was up 4-1 in the first set before Barty began to respond. 

But Barty never got over the hump: she was up 3-2 in the second set and looked poised to force a third set when she was up 15-40 in the sixth game. But she couldn't win that game, Sorribes Tormo came back to hold serve and tie 3-3, then won the final three games to clinch the match.

Barty made a lot of mistakes, as the two-time Grand Slam winner had 55 unforced errors in 19 games. She struggled when she came to the net, and many of her misses seemed to hit just under the net tape.

Sorribes Tormo never got rattled, and played a clean match, with an 83 percent first-serve mark and just 13 unforced errors. 

She used her slice backhand to throw Barty, who is more of a power player, off her rhythm. When Barty won points they tended to be short, whereas Sorribes Tormo's stellar defensive abilities allowed her to stay in and then win many points.

The 24-year-old, currently ranked 48th in the world, has never advanced beyond the second round of a Grand Slam event.

Both Barty and Sorribes Tormo were making their Olympics debut, and both are also slated to play doubles.

With Barty out, Naomi Osaka, the world No. 2 who was the surprise lighter of the torch at Friday's Opening Ceremony, is now the top seeded woman. Osaka opens the tournament here against China's Saisai Zheng.

Best of Tokyo Day 2 slideshow embed
Best of Tokyo Day 2 slideshow embed

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