Naomi Osaka scrambles back from the edge of defeat to prevent the first group of the French from leaving the fright
- World number 1 Naomi Osaka survived a first round of fright at the French Open
- The 21-year-old was twice defeated but defeated
- Osaka defeated the Russian world No. 90 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6, 7-6, 6-1
- The following is for the Japanese star two-time champion Victoria Azarenka
Naomi Osaka pushed her way back from the edge of defeat to avoid an opening in her first Grand Slam as world number 1.
The 21-year-old Japanese superstar gained seven points and two points, but eventually beat 0-6, 7-6, 6-1 against world number Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Osaka won the last two Grand Slams while Schmiedlova lost in the first round of her last nine, so eyebrows were raised when the Russian won the first set without dropping a match.
Naomi Osaka pushed her way back from the edge of defeat to avoid an opening
The 21-year-old was twice defeated on seven occasions but eventually triumphed
That she did that in one way or another without hitting a single winner tells you something about the performance of Wayward Osaka. She encountered a total of 38 unforced errors and struggled to control her foundations in the swirling wind.
Due to the harsh wet conditions, her powerful blows did not fly through the field as they normally do, giving Schmiedlova time to run after balls and get Osaka talking.
Osaka withdrew from her last tournament in Rome with a hand injury. How much that has hindered her in the first set is hard to say.
Several times she seemed overwhelmed by emotion, slumped to her squat on the court or buried her face in a towel at bills of exchange.
The 24-year-old Schmiedlova served twice before the game at 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set
The 24-year-old Schmiedlova served twice before the game at 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set and both times the nerves seemed to set in and her level dropped.
Osaka survived through the skin of her teeth and played much better in the tiebreak and the third set.
But she will have to maintain that level and then a little if she wants to continue. The following is for her two-time head champion Victoria Azarenka. The ranking of the Belarusians fell as she adapted to the tour after the birth in December 2016. But she was impressive this year and will offer a serious test for Osaka.
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