Serena Williams releases statement after skipping media availability following Miami loss

Serena to meet Osaka in Miami Open

The 20-year-old Osaka, who earned her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, showed no signs of letup and overpowered the erratic Williams.

The former world no. 1, unseeded after taking 13 months maternity leave, was convincingly beaten in straight sets by Japan's Naomi Osaka on Thursday (AEDT).

Williams, an eight-time Miami Open champion, saved the first match point but sent a routine forehand long to give rising star Osaka further glory.

Osaka defeats Williams in straight sets in Miami.

Serena's comeback to tennis after a 14-month lay-off hasn't quite gone as per her plans. Svitolina is seeded fourth in the tournament, and received a first round bye.

Such a lengthy absence means she's now ranked 491 and although the 36-year-old can use a protected world standing to enter up to eight tournaments during a 12-month period - thus avoiding qualifying - it does not apply to seedings. "I don't know if anybody knows this, but Serena is my favorite player", Osaka said in her post-match interview on court.

"I look forward to continuing my return by progressing every day".

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"I was extremely nervous coming on to the court", Osaka said on Wednesday. Williams led 40-0, but Osaka had other ideas with a huge forehand return followed by a backhand victor as Williams made another unforced error. I don't really know how to describe it. "Sometimes when I'm in a really hard position when I'm serving, I'm like, 'What would Serena do?'"

"She's so good that she will get back to the top, so the rule should stay as it is".

"It was a different type of nerves".

It started well for Williams, on her comeback after delivering a baby as she held to love in the first game. I wasn't paying attention if she was struggling or not.

"I kind of blanked out". Osaka said her goal was to avoid Williams winning 6-0, 6-0. Osaka, meanwhile, hit 18 winners and seven aces as she rode her powerful first serve to victory in 1 hour, 17 minutes. Williams also revealed that her training was delayed as she "almost died" after suffering blood clots in her lungs and abdomen and was bedridden for six weeks after giving birth! The world No.22 wrapped up the set with a second break when it looked highly unlikely. "And now I feel like it's time to start new memories and new moments, and I feel it's going to be just as great". "Playing against her is kind of like a dream for me, so I'm very grateful I was able to play her, and even better that I was able to win", she said.

"It's weird playing against someone who you've grown up watching".

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