Osaka cruises into second round at Australian Open | Inquirer Sports
Close  

Osaka cruises into second round at Australian Open

/ 10:11 AM February 08, 2021
Naomi Osaka 2021 Australian Open

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

World number three Naomi Osaka started her Australian Open in style Monday with an easy straight-sets victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as the delayed Grand Slam finally got underway.

The Japanese star faced a potentially tricky first-round contest against the world number 39, but made light work of the Russian 6-1, 6-2 in 68 minutes.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I was really nervous coming into this match. I just wanted to play well,” Osaka, who hit 18 winners, told a smattering of spectators on Rod Laver Arena.

The 23-year-old, seeded three in Melbourne Park, looked physically strong having withdrawn from the warm-up Gippsland Trophy in the semi-finals, blaming a long-standing shoulder problem.

FEATURED STORIES

Osaka, whose flashy attire included leggings and pink shoes, skirt and wristbands, won the first four games and continued the momentum as she relentlessly worked Pavlyuchenkova around the court with powerful groundstrokes.

The three-time Grand Slam winner stretched her streak to 15 matches unbeaten — including the US Open final — dating back 12 months.

Osaka, who won the 2019 Australian Open, plays former top 10 player Caroline Garcia of France or Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in the second round.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Australian Open, first round, Naomi Osaka, Sports, Tennis
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.