Brisbane International: Osaka shines brightly with a dominating victory over Tamara

“It feels really good to be back,” says the former World No. tennis player

Tennis player Naomi Osaka (photo: DW)
Tennis player Naomi Osaka (photo: DW)
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IANS

Naomi Osaka has made an impressive return to win her first WTA Tour match after 517 days with a dazzling 6-3 7-6(9) victory against German Tamara Korpatsch at the Brisbane International, here on Monday.

After dominating the first-round match early, Osaka was forced to dig deep to secure a straight-sets win.

The former world No.1 squandered a 5-3 advantage in the second set and had to save two set points in a fiercely contested tiebreak, before eventually closing out the match in one hour and 48 minutes.

It is Osaka’s first match – and win – since having daughter Shai in July 2023.

“It feels really good to be back,” the four-time Grand Slam champion told an adoring crowd today at Pat Rafter Arena.

“I was super nervous, but I was really excited to be out there,” Osaka said.

A radiant Osaka savored the moment, taking selfies and signing autographs with her many fans before leaving the court.

“I feel like the last couple of years that I played, before you know I had my daughter, I didn’t return as much love as I was given, so I really feel what I want to do in this chapter,” Osaka explained.

“I just really appreciate people coming out and people knowing me and cheering for me, because there was a time where I was just a little kid trying to watch my role models play, so it feels really surreal sometimes to be playing on these courts.”

Osaka’s victory sets up a tantalising second-round showdown with another former world No.1, Czech Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova is a three-time champion in Brisbane and has won 16 of her past 17 matches at the tournament. This includes a three-set semifinal victory against Osaka, where she saved a match point, during her title-winning run in 2020.

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