Top seed Osaka wins opener in Madrid

Ross Houston
May 10, 2019

"But I was a bit unfocused in the second set".

Osaka has struggled since splitting with her coach Sascha Bajin in February, while an abdominal injury forced her to withdraw in Stuttgart eight days ago, creating doubts about her challenge at the French Open later this month.

Bencic, meanwhile, thrashed Kateryna Kozlova 6-0 6-2.

"I feel like in the first set, I got a bit lucky there".

Halep, who beat British number one Johanna Konta in the second round, took just 45 minutes to see off her Slovakian opponent, who is ranked 46th.

"I'm at a really good place right now, and I don't know, I feel like I'm having fun playing tennis again, which is always a good thing for me and I always play well if I have that mentality", said Osaka, who fired nine aces and saved three of four break points.

The Japanese, Naomi Osaka was 5-3 up in the deciding set and she was serving for the match.

Also, the seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens of Netherlands defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6/4, 6/3, while eighth seeded American, Sloane Stephens defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6/4, 2/6, 6/4.

Tennis world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan has said she doesn't want to compare herself with USA legend Serena Williams, adding that she prefers to enjoy the game rather than focusing on winning dozens of Grand Slams.

Naomi Osaka celebrates a win at the Madrid Open on 5 May 2019.

Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion a year ago, has been battling rheumatoid arthritis.

"I don't think it was her best match", Halep said. "It's not like I can avoid this season, you know what I mean?"

Leading 4-2 in set number two, the Slovak lost the advantage when Naomi broke back in game eight, with four good holds sending them into a tie break that offered 11 mini-breaks in 14 points! It was a grueling 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 win for the Swiss tennis player. France's Pauline Parmentier took out No. 6 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Following that humiliating defeat at the hands of Osaka at the Flushing Meadows previous year, Sasnovich will be keen on taking her revenge and making things even to a certain extent.

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