Australian Open: Naomi Osaka, Maria Sakkari through to second round

Naomi Osaka easily made it through to the second round of the Australian Open with a straight sets win over Camila Osorio on Monday (January 17).

Naomi Osaka in action (Twitter: @WTA)

Naomi Osaka and Maria Sakkari, two of the favourites to win the Australian Open women’s singles crown, eased into the second round on Monday (January 17).

Osaka qualified for Round 2 with a straight sets win over Colombia’s Camila Osorio. Sakkari, meanwhile, beat Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-4, 7-6(2).

It was a good showing of tennis from Osaka, who took only 68 minutes to win the match. She’s previously won two titles at Melbourne and looked in fine touch during her match.

“I thought it was really amazing to play against [Osorio],” Osaka said, in her post-match press conference. “She was loud, she was fighting. I think that’s something special.

“I really commended her for that, I thought she had a great return. She was really bold. She kind of stepped in really close to the line.”

Osaka did have to work a little harder than expected though. She was 5-0 up in the first set but Osorio chose that moment to turn on the aggression. The Colombian was rewarded as she won three straight games, pulling things back at 5-3.

However, Osaka won the next game and closed out the set at 6-3. Afterwards, she acknowledged that was something she’d want to avoid in upcoming matches.

“I think I was pretty solid, I think I was up 5-0 and had a little dip; but I was fortunate enough to close it out. I think that’s something that I hope I’m not in that position in my next match. If I am, I already did it this time around, so I guess I’ll learn from it.”

Sakkari progresses in Australian Open

Sakkari, on the other hand, had to work significantly harder to find a way past Maria. She broke Maria’s serve in the first set thanks to a double fault, and was matched by her opponent in the number of aces served.

Where Sakkari won out was her aggression. She had 13 more winners than Maria, and that helped her edge the match in the end.

However, she still had to endure a tie-break in the second set to get the job done. She failed to convert three seperate break points in the second set. But she dominated the tie-break and got the win.

“I didn’t feel great out there, but I found a solution, found a way to win,” Sakkari said afterwards.

“She has a tricky game that sometimes it makes you feel uncomfortable inside the court. Yeah, it was a decent match. I kind of, like, survived.”

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