London (AFP) - Naomi Osaka's bid to win a third Grand Slam title came to a premature end on Monday when she lost to Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in the first round.
The 21-year-old Japanese said she had felt a weight lifted from her after losing her number one world ranking but it did not show against a talented opponent on Centre Court.
Indeed Putintseva simply franked the form from the recent Birmingham tournament where she had beaten the US Open and Australian Open champion in the second round. Russia-born Putintseva had never been on Centre Court before and admitted to being taken aback by its circular shape, although she was far fom over-awed in the manner she played.
"I did a good job out there and I was fighting great," said the 24-year-old.
"It is amazing."
Putintseva said she was getting more accustomed to grass, although, she still feels clay is her best surface, and added having a good record against Osaka counted for nothing when they walked out onto Centre Court.
"Honestly every match is a battle I don't know what is going to happen," she said after her third win in three against the Japanese.
"I do my best, that is all I can do."