Osaka and Halep advance to second round in Madrid

Naomi Osaka overcame Misaki Doi’s strong start in the first round by hitting six aces and breaking her serve five times at the 2021 Madrid Open.

Naomi Osaka will next play Karolina Muchova in the second round of the Madrid Open after the Czech beat Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-3 on Friday.   -  Getty Images

Second-seed Naomi Osaka made her return to clay and defeated Misaki Doi 7-5, 6-2 in the first round of the Madrid Open on Friday.

Osaka overcame Doi’s strong start by hitting six aces and breaking her serve five times.

A leg injury meant Osaka missed last season’s clay-court swing, and her last individual tournament on the surface was at Roland Garros in 2019. She played and lost for Japan against Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Fed Cup during February 2020.

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Osaka, the U. S. Open and Australian Open champion, next plays Karolina Muchova after the Czech beat Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-3.

Third-seed Simona Halep, who won the tournament in 2016 and 2017, beat Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 7-5. Maria Sakkari roared back after losing the first seven games of her match against Amanda Anisimova to win 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Daria Kasatkina needed three match points to see off Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), while fifth-seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2.