Tennis: Osaka sees off Sakkari challenge to advance in Brisbane

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Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka

TWO-time grand slam champion, Naomi Osaka scored 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to win Maria Sakkari in the opening round of the Brisbane International on Tuesday.

Osaka, who began her 2020 season with 16 aces, broke her Greek opponent four times in the two hour, seven minutes’ encounter.

She, however, struggled in the second set tiebreak when Sakkari won five points in a row.

The pair traded breaks in the opening stages of the final set before Osaka, a former world number one clinched victory in spite of double faulting on her first match point.

“I knew going into it is going to be a really hard match. I think in the second set, I was complaining a lot in the tiebreak. I was trying to calm down and stay positive,’’ Osaka said.

Former U.S. Open champion, Sloane Stephens, 24th in the WTA rankings fell at the first hurdle to Liudmila Samsonova, ranked more than 100 places below her.

The 129th ranked Russian won 6-4 2-6 6-3.

Stephens’ compatriot and eighth seed Madison Keys advanced with a 6-3 6-2 win over the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.

Maria Sharapova will play Jennifer Brady later on Tuesday in her first match since exiting last year’s U.S. Open in the first round. (NAN)

– Jan. 7, 2020 @ 14:05 GMT |

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