Miami Open: Naomi Osaka powers into the second round
Japan’s Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round of the Miami Open with a comprehensive straight sets win over Australian Astra Sharma on Wednesday.
Osaka had endured a tough loss in Indian Wells 10 days ago, breaking down in tears after being heckled in the stands following a defeat to Veronika Kudermetova.
The four-time Grand Slam champion, who had time away from tennis in 2021 to deal with mental health issues, showed tremendous poise at the to beat world no 96 Sharma 6-3 6-4 to move on in Miami.
— wta (@WTA) March 23, 2022
The win was Osaka’s 50th at WTA 1000 level.
Osaka said that her Indian Wells exit motivated her to bounce back.
“The last match I played wasn’t the greatest memory for me,” Osaka said during an on-court interview after her win at the Hard Rock Stadium.
“I just wanted to prove I could come back out here, compete and have the best attitude I could.”
Osaka served well to give Sharma no opening in their match.
The two-time Australian Open champion lost just two points on her first serve and six behind her second.
It was no easy win though as Osaka found it tough to convert break points, clinching just two of the 11 Sharma offered up.
Osaka faces Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the next round. The two women have a storied history but the German has edged their rivalry.
Her win over Kerber at the 2017 US Open was Osaka’s first over a top ten player, but she has lost all four of their subsequent matches.
In other action on Wednesday, 16-year-old wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova routed Danka Kovinic 6-0, 6-4 in just 1 hour and 14 minutes.
Kovinic was out-manoeuvred by No.279-ranked Fruhvirtova throughout.
The result was Fruhvirtova’s first completed Top 100 victory, previously getting passed Alizé Cornet via retirement at last year’s Charleston 250.
American Madison Brengle would not entertain an upset at the hands of another 16-year-old wildcard, Alexandra Eala, as she defeated the Filipina 6-2, 6-1.
Irina-Camelia Begu roared back after losing a tight first set to beat 20-year-old wildcard Hailey Baptiste 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-1 and set up a second-round clash with No.1 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich edged 20-year-old qualifier Wang Xinyu 7-6(6), 6-4.
Novak Djokovic cruises to victory on return to ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic blew past Spain’s Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday evening.
Juan Martin del Potro details heartbreaking injury struggles
Juan Martin del Potro continues to struggle with mobility issues post-retirement.
Iga Swiatek irritated by WTA Tour finals scheduling clash
An ‘irritated’ Iga Swiatek has bone to pick with the ITF and the WTA.
John McEnroe and Mats Wilander back Iga Swiatek to claim 10 Grand Slams
Is Iga Swiatek destined to be the next woman to win ten Grand Slams?
Race to Turin: Casper Ruud becomes third man to qualify
Casper Ruud joins Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the Turin field.
Cameron Norrie bullies Kaichi Uchida at Korea Open to end losing run
Norrie won 6-2 6-2 to set up a quarter-final against American Jenson Brooksby.
Rod Laver believes Wimbledon final has changed Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios could be ‘the guy’ in 2023.
Novak Djokovic reveals how he ‘creates an image of success’
Novak Djokovic is always striving to gain an edge.
Stefanos Tsitsipas social media post suggests he is still dreaming about Roger Federer
Tsitsipas has given a hint that he doesn’t want his weekend playing alongside the greats of the modern game to end.