Naomi Osaka Makes Winning Return at Italian Open, Set to Face Marta Kostyuk in Round Two

Former world number one Naomi Osaka marked her return to the Italian Open with a commanding straight-sets victory over France’s Clara Burel in the first round. Osaka, competing in the tournament for the first time since 2021, secured a 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 win against Burel, who is ranked 45th in the world.

The victory was particularly significant for Osaka as it marked her first win against a top-50 opponent on clay since her triumph over Victoria Azarenka at the French Open in 2019. The 26-year-old, who welcomed her first daughter last year, displayed formidable form on the court, setting up a second-round clash against 19th seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine.

Reflecting on her performance, Osaka expressed satisfaction with her play, particularly highlighting her improved performance in the second set. With her sights set on the upcoming match, Osaka emphasized her determination to learn from her mistakes and apply them effectively in future encounters.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, Britain’s Dan Evans was unable to kick off his campaign as scheduled due to inclement weather in Rome. Evans, set to face Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the first round, will have to wait for the match to be rescheduled.

Osaka, currently ranked at 173 in the world, showcased her prowess on the court with an impressive display of 27 winners, including eight aces. As she prepares for her next challenge, the Japanese star remains focused on further refining her game and building on her winning momentum at the Italian Open.

“I obviously played a lot better in the second set,” she said.

“I’m hoping that when I play my match tomorrow, I’m able to learn from the mistakes that I did today and apply them better.”

the authorAV1 NEWS

Leave a Reply