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Jul 1, 2024 7:48 pm

Naomi Osaka wins at Wimbledon for first time since 2018

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka’s first Wimbledon match in five years was a victory, and she was just relieved to get into the second round.

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, notched a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Diane Parry of France on Monday in her first-round match at the All England Club in London.

Osaka had 34 winners to 14 for Parry and saved 8 of 12 break points while recording a victory at Wimbledon for the first time since 2018, when she was ousted in the third round by Germany’s Angelique Kerber.

“For me, it felt really fun and really stressful at the same time,” Osaka said after the win. “It was fun because the crowd was so engaged. … It felt like an arena. The match I think was a little up-and-down, but I think overall it was something that I can take a lot away from.”

In her 2019 visit to Wimbledon, Osaka was swept in the first round by Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

Osaka missed Wimbledon last year due to the birth of her daughter. She said she turned on the television in her hospital room and saw the tournament on the screen.

“It’s funny, because Wimbledon was the first tournament I watched after pregnancy,” Osaka said.

Osaka will face No. 19 Emma Navarro in the second round. Navarro defeated China’s Wang Qiang 6-0, 6-2 on Monday.

Second-seeded Coco Gauff started off her quest for a Wimbledon crown with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over fellow American Caroline Dolehide in 65 minutes.

The win also served as redemption, as Gauff was sent packing in the first round last year when she lost to qualifier Sofia Kenin.

“I’m really happy that I was able to get through today,” Gauff said. “I’m a little bit emotional but it’s been a long year.”

Gauff will next oppose Romania’s Anca Todoni, who was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over Serbia’s Olga Danilovic.

Home-country favorite Emma Raducanu registered a 7-6 (0), 6-3 victory over lucky loser Renata Zarazua of Mexico. No. 22 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova withdrew with an illness on Monday, leading to Zarazua as the replacement opponent.

“It was an incredibly difficult match,” Raducanu said. “I’ve barely, if ever, played a defender who’s literally landed the ball on the baseline or just kept getting the ball back. It took a lot of strength to get over the line.

“It’s not easy when you’re not in the draw in the morning, and then you’re playing on Centre Court, so all props to her.”

Raducanu will next face Elise Mertens of Belgium. Mertens rallied to beat Japan’s Nao Hibino 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

No. 7 seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy defeated Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 6-3, and No. 9 Maria Sakkari of Greece beat McCartney Kessler 6-3, 6-1.

In the biggest upset of the day, Lulu Sun of New Zealand defeated No. 8 seed Zheng Qinwen of China 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Zheng committed eight double faults and 26 unforced errors while Sun converted 4 of 7 break points.

No. 12 Madison Keys beat Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-4, 7-6 (4), No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-0 and No. 18 Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine took out Rebecca Sramkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2.

Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic stunned fellow 17-year-old and 24th seed Mirra Andreeva of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, while Brit Sonay Kartal rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 29 Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

Other seeded players to win were No. 25 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, No. 26 Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic and No. 28 Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine.

Among unseeded players to win Monday were Sloane Stephens, Spain’s Paula Badosa, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

–Field Level Media

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