Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep advance to second spherical with straight set wins-Sports activities Information , Novi Reporter”
A leg damage meant Osaka missed final season’s clay-court swing, and her final particular person match on the floor was at Roland Garros in 2019.
Madrid: Second-seeded Naomi Osaka made a profitable return to clay on the Madrid Open by beating Misaki Doi 7-5, 6-2 within the first spherical on Friday.
Osaka overcame Doi’s sturdy begin by hitting six aces and breaking her serve 5 instances.
A leg damage meant Osaka missed final season’s clay-court swing, and her final particular person match on the floor was at Roland Garros in 2019. She performed and misplaced for Japan in opposition to Spain’s Sara Sorribes within the Fed Cup in February 2020.
Osaka stated she felt higher on the floor.
“After I was enjoying on clay that yr, I did not really feel uncomfortable in any respect,” Osaka stated. “The 2 matches that I misplaced, it was extra psychological than it was bodily. Like, I did not really feel uncomfortable sliding or I did not really feel that drained. So I am truly actually excited to get that mindset again and to begin feeling extra comfy on clay.”
Osaka, the US Open and Australian Open champion, subsequent performs Karolina Muchova after the Czech beat Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-3.
Third-seeded Simona Halep, who gained the match in 2016 and ’17, beat Sorribes 6-0, 7-5.
Maria Sakkari roared again after shedding the primary seven video games of her match in opposition to Amanda Anisimova to win 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova fought again to oust Cori Gauff 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, whereas Daria Kasatkina wanted three match factors to see off Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Jennifer Brady beat Venus Williams 6-2, 6-4 after breaking her serve six instances.
Fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Jennifer Brady, Elise Mertens, Saisai Zheng and Jessica Pegula additionally moved on.
Prime-seeded Ashleigh Barty and three-time former winner Petra Kvitova superior on Thursday.
The boys will begin their first spherical on Sunday.
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