Navarro ends Osaka's Wimbledon as Gauff progresses

On the face of it American 19th seed Emma Navarro's 6-4 6-1 Wimbledon second round victory over a player ranked 113th in the world is a routine, even mundane result, worth little more than a footnote in the dispatches from SW19.

Except the player on the receiving end of what became a 58-minute hiding was Naomi Osaka, a four-time grand slam winner and one of the best-known players in the women's game.

Osaka was world No.1 for 25 weeks in 2019, before Ash Barty made the spot her own, and was still only 23 when she won her second Australian Open title in 2021.

However, later that year, suffering mental health issues, she retired from the French Open, skipped Wimbledon, then lost early at the US Open. She took a break, returned to modest results, then took maternity leave in 2023.

Emma Navarro
Emma Navarro waves to supporters after defeating Naomi Osaka on day three at Wimbledon. (AP PHOTO)

She is still only 26, but it is a long haul back to the top. Her enduring talent was evident at Roland Garros when she had match point against perennial winner Iga Swiatek, but she has never been comfortable on grass.

This was thus a tricky encounter and despite strong support from the Centre Court crowd Osaka's game disintegrated as soon as Navarro settled on her debut in the arena.

From 3-2 up Osaka won two of the next 12 games.

"Naomi didn't do much wrong but she didn't do much right either, too many errors and Navarro was on fire," nine-times Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova said while commentating.

Navarro will now play Russian 20-year-old Diana Shnaider, who also put a former US Open champion to the sword. She beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-1.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff serves to Anca Todoni during their second round women's singles match at Wimbledon. (AP PHOTO)

A trio of other US Open champions had better fortune. The current holder, Coco Gauff, eased her way into the third round aware she should be playing better, but able to keep that thought under control.

The No. 2 seed dismissed nervous Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni 6-2 6-1 in 66 minutes, but admitted "I could have played cleaner at some points" after an inconsistent performance.

Gauff, who went out in the first round last year at the hands of Sofia Kenin, said she had learned from that disappointment - and from her success in New York, to manage expectations and emotions.

"Overall, I just learned about life a lot. What I do, I'm very passionate about but it's not ever that serious," she said.

"It's a game, it's sport. Sometimes the world can make you feel like there is so much pressure and expectation."

The draw has opened up for Gauff after the first-day withdrawals of Belarusians Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, and former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka.

She will next play British qualifier Sonay Kartel, who defeated France's Clara Burel 6-3 5-7 6-3.

Emma Raducanu
Britain's Emma Raducanu showed signs of her US Open-winning form in beating Elise Mertens. (AP PHOTO)

British wildcard Emma Raducanu, who has been dogged by injuries since winning the US Open as a qualifier in 2021, showed signs she is regaining her best form with a 6-1 6-2 win over Elise Mertens.

And Canada's Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US winner, downed No.26 seed Linda Noskova 6-3 7-6 (7-5)

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, gained a hard-fought 7-5 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 win over Magda Linette of Poland.

No.11 seed Danielle Collins, delayed overnight when light faded, wrapped up victory against Clara Tauson when play resumed after morning rain. The 2022 Australian Open runner-up, who is to quit at the end of this year, saw off the Dane 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Other seeds to progress were Jasmine Paolini, Maria Sakkari, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Barbora Krejcikova, but 25th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was felled by Lin Zhu.