Sat, 21 May 2022

Melbourne [Australia], January 17 (ANI): Defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan on Monday enjoyed a stellar start to her Australian Open campaign as she moved past rising Colombian Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 in the first round at Rod Laver Arena.

No.13 seed, who won the Australian Open in 2019 as well as last year, took 68 minutes to quash the challenge from 20-year-old Osorio, who is currently sitting at a career-high ranking of World No.50.

Osaka is also now 19-2 in Grand Slam first-round matches throughout her career. Former world number one finished the match with an excellent 83 percent success rate behind her first serve, and she converted four of her six break points to take home the win.

Earlier, the number five seed Maria Sakkari became the first top-10 player to move into the second round of the 2022 Australian Open, as the Greek defeated Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-4, 7-6(2) in the first match of the event.

Seeded in the top-10 at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, Sakkari took an hour and 46 minutes to fend off former top-50 player Maria.

Sakkari will meet surging Chinese qualifier Zheng Qinwen in the second round. 19-year-old Zheng defeated Melbourne Summer Set 2 runner-up Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(5) in the first third-set super-tiebreak of the tournament.

No.15 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine also advanced into the second round, besting Fiona Ferro of France, 6-1, 7-6(4) in an hour and 32 minutes.

Olympic champion Belinda Bencic also won her opening-round clash as she defeated France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and a half. (ANI)

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