World No.2 and 4-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka cleared the opening hurdle and beat Saisai Zheng in the first round of Tokyo Olympics. On her Olympic debut, the local Japanese got the better of Zheng in straight sets 6-1,6-4 on centre court.
Naomi hasn’t played any competitive tennis since French Open, where she pulled out of the tournament midway, citing mental health after she faced backlash when she decided not to do any press conferences.
With a champion mentality, she started the match with an ace and carried the momentum forward. She wasn’t rusty despite not playing since the last 2 months and held her nerve nicely. She was quick to break Zheng’s serve and soon took a 3-0 lead. The Chinese didn’t seem to have the game to stop Osaka as the Japanese broke her serve again and took a 5-0 lead and eventually served out the set 6-1.
The second set wasn’t much different from the first, except Zheng making less unforced errors which supported her cause. The Chinese at times was taking charge of the rallies too and had several break points but wasn’t able to get a decisive break. With a break’s lead, Osaka wrapped up the set 6-2 to enter the second round.
Naomi Osaka will now take on Viktorija Golubic in the second round.