Posted in: Last updated:
Cincinnati (United States) (AFP)
Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the second seed, made a successful return to the tennis courts after defeating American host Coco Gauff, the 24th seed, in the first set to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday, to advance to the third round of the tournament. Cincinnati Tennis, one of the 1,000-point Masters tournaments according to the WTA rankings.
The Japanese is participating in her first WTA tournament since she withdrew before the second round of the French Roland Garros for psychological reasons, knowing that she had participated in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics and was eliminated from the third round.
Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam winner, said, “It’s been a long time (I haven’t played in front of a large crowd)… I’ve had a complicated year, and I’ve changed my mindset and even if I lose I wouldn’t feel like I’m losing because there are so many lessons from every match.” .
“So many things happen in the world that just getting up in the morning is a victory in itself,” she added.
Osaka, 23, last year’s runner-up in Cincinnati (announcing her withdrawal before she played the final), and who was exempted from the first round, set up a meeting with Swiss Jill Teichmann (65th seed), who defeated American Bernarda Pera (83) 6-1 6-4 .
Osaka lost the first set after losing her 17-year-old opponent to a 4-4 draw, and looked like she was heading for an inevitable loss when the American broke in the second set at 1-1.
But Osaka quickly responded by breaking Gave’s serve to tie the score 2-2, and she repeated the same scenario, advanced 5-3 and sent to win the set.
In the third, the Japanese raised their performance and dominated from the start by breaking Gave’s serve, and advanced 2-0, and maintained their control until the end, without losing only a point on their serve in this decisive group.
In other matches in the second round, German Angelique Kerber defeated fourth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
Seventh-seeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu lost to Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4, 6-2. Her compatriot Petra Kvitova followed suit by defeating Russian Veronika Kodermitova 6-2, 6-4.
Belgian 15th seed Elise Mertens lost to Kazakh Elena Rybakina 6-3, 6-2.
© 2021 AFP