Australian Open 2020: Osaka begins title defence with straight-sets win

Defending champion Naomi Osaka came through her first-round clash at the Australian Open against Maria Bouzkova.

Published : Jan 20, 2020 09:09 IST

Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Marie Buzkova 6-2 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena.
Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Marie Buzkova 6-2 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Marie Buzkova 6-2 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Naomi Osaka started her Australian Open title defence with a straight-sets win over Marie Bouzkova on Monday.

Osaka was too strong for Bouzkova in a 6-2 6-4 win on Rod Laver Arena in the first meeting between the pair.

The Japanese star was the aggressor throughout and her ability to take her chances proved crucial against Czech Bouzkova.

Osaka, 22, has never lost in the opening round in Melbourne and the third seed will face Zheng Saisai next.

The two-time grand slam champion was tested early before breaking in the fifth game of the first set.

Osaka went on a run of five straight games to finish the first set, but Bouzkova found hope by taking a 4-2 lead in the second.

However, Osaka stepped up again, breaking back and winning the last four games to advance.

The 22-year-old Japanese star said it was unusual just how happy she was in Victoria's capital.

"For me it's really odd here. I just feel really happy," Osaka told a news conference.

"I don't really have this mentality of defending now. It's really weird. But I'm very thankful for it, because I think if I did go into the match with that, I would have been tense."

Osaka, who faces Zheng Saisai in the second round, revealed her dad watched her from the players' box for the first time at a Grand Slam during her victory over Bouzkova.

"He's just superstitious. Before when he used to sit in my box I would just look at him and complain a lot, but I have matured over the past three or four years he hasn't sat in my box," she said.

"He was like my coach during Tokyo and Beijing. He was sitting in my box the entire time. He has a good winning streak by sitting in my box."


Naomi Osaka [3] bt Marie Bouzkova 6-2 6-4

Osaka – 29/28
Bouzkova – 12/13

Osaka – 7/2
Bouzkova – 1/3

Osaka – 4/9
Bouzkova – 1/6

Osaka – 70
Bouzkova – 51

Osaka – 74/53
Bouzkova – 66/43

Osaka – 64
Bouzkova – 49

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