Australian Open: Osaka ousts Zheng en route to third round, Wozniacki through

In warm but breezy conditions in Melbourne, third seed Naomi Osaka defeated Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday.

Osaka will next face either teenage sensation Coco Gauff or Sorana Cirstea at Melbourne Park.   -  Getty Images

Defending champion Naomi Osaka sailed into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Saisai Zheng. 

In warm but breezy conditions in Melbourne, third seed Osaka defeated China's Zheng 6-2 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday.

Japanese star Osaka will next face either teenage sensation Coco Gauff or Sorana Cirstea at Melbourne Park.

Osaka made a strong start in front of a healthy Japanese contingent, breaking in the second game for a 2-0 lead, only to be broken back immediately after firing a forehand long.

Zheng managed to get back on serve, however, consecutive double faults handed the break back to Osaka, whose power and precision helped wrap up the set in 34 minutes.

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Osaka fended off two break points in the opening game of the second set, but Zheng continued to have her chances on the two-time grand slam champion's serve.

Zheng, who also saved a break point to hold for 1-1, finally broke at the fifth time of asking as she moved ahead 2-1.

The disciplined approach from Zheng frustrated Osaka, who threw and kicked her racquet before claiming the break back instantly. The pair traded breaks as Osaka's unforced errors grew, until the latter composed herself to see out the match after one hour, 20 minutes.

Talking post the game about the second set, where she dropped her racquet and kicked it, Osaka said: "I definitely got very frustrated in the second set, and it's something that I knew would happen, but I didn't know the scale, like, what she would do to make me frustrated." 

"I think that I just really have to focus on knowing that I'm going to have really tough matches and I have to find a way to go around it and just be consistently level-headed."

Osaka added: "She was slicing and dicing and getting everything. I was, like, 'Can I just hit a winner already?' She was, like, 'No, I'm going to get everything'. That's basically what happened."

- Wozniacki avoids retirement with battling display -

Caroline Wozniacki prolonged her career by at least another match after rallying past 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 7-5 in the second round on Wednesday.  

Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open and the 2018 champion faced the prospect of going out against the red-hot Yastremska, who raced out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set.

Yastremska was in control before former world number one Wozniacki reeled off six successive games to steal the set on Margaret Court Arena. Wozniacki was also down a double break and 3-0 at the start of the second set before weathering another storm at Melbourne Park.

Having lost momentum, Yastremska called for a medical timeout and it seemed to help as the Ukrainian saved three match points to hold for 5-5. But 29-year-old Danish star Wozniacki was not to be denied, ensuring her farewell party carried through to the third round after more than two hours on court.

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