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Tennis

Naomi Osaka wins first match at Australian Open after tennis break

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka Australian Open 2022 at Melbourne Summer set. Photo/Tennisconnected

Naomi Osaka marked her grand return to tennis with her first major victory at Melbourne Summer Set in the Australian Open 2022 Tuesday.

The Japanese player took the first step towards that aim, but she was nowhere near her best in beating France’s 61st-ranked veteran Alize Cornet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.

Naomi Osaka Australian Open Comeback

As Cornet won five straight games to square the match, Osaka appeared to be cruising after winning the first set 6-4 and building a commanding 3-1 lead in the second.

The 24-year-old was able to rally and take the third set break early, a lead she would not surrender.

It was a great feeling to make a comeback.

Naomi Osaka Australian Open 2022 at Melbourne Summer set. Photo/Tennisconnected

Naomi Osaka Australian Open 2022 at Melbourne Summer set.Photo/Tennisconnected

“It always feels really good to come back here,” she said in an on-court interview adding Osaka “It feels really nice to play in front of people.”

Since arriving in Melbourne last week to prepare for her Australian Open rematch, she kept a low profile.

She conceded that nerves played a role in her shaky first competitive outing in four months, and she made several blunders.

Naomi Osaka Opens Up on Nervousness During First Match

“I feel like I made a lot of unforced errors, but I kind of expected that because it is my first match and I was really nervous,” she said. Non

Nonetheless, she is glad that she was able to hold her serve in that last game.

Osaka will now face Petra Martic of Croatia or Maryna Zanevska of Belgium in the final 16 after the victory.

This was her first major victory since her heartbreaking loss from the US Open in September 2021.

Naomi Osaka 2021 Defeats

After losing in the third round at Flushing Meadows, the four-time Grand Slam champion, who has fallen to number 13, revealed that she was fighting with some personal problems” mentally.

Last year, Osaka withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon due to mental health issues. She claimed that speaking to the media after matches exacerbated her symptoms.

She also withdrew from the Tokyo Olympic Games in the early rounds in July 2021 citing her mental wellbeing.

Osaka said that she realized that she was never happy or content after winning. She said this after pulling out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

This, she said, was not normal and all she wanted was time to figure out what she wanted to do. She was not sure of when she would play tennis next.

At the U.S Open, her resilience was pushed even harder when she lost to World number 73 Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez, she was devastated.

The 18-year-old Canadian thrashed Osaka despite never having played in the Grand Slam.

Her thrashing by Fernandez – 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 – at Flushing Meadows in the U.S Open pushed her to more pain.

The third-round defeat in the U.S Open came with a barrage of mixed feelings for Osaka. And this compounded her decision to take a break from tennis.

Naomi Osaka Greece Vacation

Her indefinite break from tennis took her to Greece – here Osaka had a time of her life on the Greek Island in October 2021.

And the traveller in her did not hold back from sharing her great moments on the iconic island of Mykonos. Or, the historic sites in Greece.

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka at Temple Isis (III) in Greece. Photo/ Naomi Osaka

Her photo ops speak of cosy times – especially where she soaks in the sun aboard a boat in Mykonos.

At the famous Temple of Isis (III), she posed against a staggering background of the uncarved rock wall for the temple. She looked sassy and passionate, a testament she was regaining her lost self.

In November 201, the Four-time Grand Slam winner hinted at making a comeback to tennis after the break. She posted several photos while she was in practice and went ahead to thank her fans for their kindness.

“Kinda rusty but feels good to be back. I really want to say thank you, everyone, for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it,” Osaka captioned the photo of her on a tennis court holding a racket.

The Temple of Isis (III) towers gallantly on the Greek Island of Delos. It is a haven for photo enthusiasts. The blue skies come into focus and Osaka depicts this clearly.

It mirrored a soul at peace after a daunting season coupled with frustration on the court.

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