Naomi Osaka makes winning comeback in first match since US Open
After a difficult season in 2021, former world No 1 Naomi Osaka made a successful start to the new season with a three-set win over French veteran Cornet
Playing her first match since the US Open, Naomi Osaka suffered a poor patch in the second set before regrouping to beat Alize Cornet and advance to the second round of the WTA Melbourne Summer Set 1 event.
Osaka had taken time off from the tour after her third-round exit at the US Open where she said she wanted to take a break from the game. Playing against one of the most experienced players on the WTA Tour, Osaka showed some signs of rustiness in the second set but she managed to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a second round clash with either Petra Martic or Maryna Zanevska.
Osaka struggles with first serve but wins first set
Known to have one of the stronger serves in the women’s game, Naomi Osaka struggled to find the range on her first serve in the first set. The world No 13 got only 25% of her first serves in, winning 88 per cent of those points, and 58 per cent of her second serve to manage to hold on to her service games. One break of serve in the seventh game was enough for her to win the first set 6-4.
After second set lapse, Naomi Osaka wins in three
Osaka started the second set strongly to go up 3-1 with a break of serve. But that’s when the four-time Grand Slam champion’s game deserted her for a while. As the errors piled up and Cornet picked up her game, the Frenchwoman was able to sweep five games in a row and win the set 6-3 to send the match into a deciding set.
Osaka started the final set by getting an early break to go up 3-0. From there, she managed to hold her serve without facing a single break point, closing out the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win in two hours and two minutes.
The 24-year-old, who pulled out of the French Open, after her first-round win after her controversial remarks about post-match press conference, and Wimbledon credited her team for staying by her side and giving her the time she needed to regroup after her US Open loss.