On a day filled with upsets at the Melbourne Summer Set 1, top seed Naomi Osaka came through in a tussle of her own against Alize Cornet to reach the second round. Osaka needed three sets and two hours and two minutes to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Prior to the start of the match, all attention had been riveted on the former world no. 1 who was going to be making her first appearance on a tennis court since closing out her 2021 season after a third-round exit at the US Open. And while the match had its roller-coaster-like moments, the Japanese was able to stand her ground in the decisive moments to convincingly end Cornet’s challenge.
Osaka hit 51 winners and 57 unforced errors to Cornet’s 34 winners and 42 unforced errors. She lost her serve only twice in the match with both breaks coming in the second set. In comparison, Osaka broke Cornet thrice in the course of the match.
In the second round, the defending Australian Open champion will play Maryna Zanevska. The Belgian won against Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 32 minutes.
Melbourne Summer Set 1: Seeds tumble out
Martic’s compatriot, Ana Konjuh fared better in her first-round clash against the Czech Republic’s Tereza Martincova. Konjuh upset her seventh-seeded opponent, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 34 minutes. In the second round, Konjuh will play Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian beat Romanian Jaqueline Cristian 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 6-2 in two hours and 45 minutes.
Cristian’s fellow Romanian, Elena-Gabriela Ruse reached the second round with a win over Australian wildcard, Arina Rodionova 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes. Ruse will play either Australian qualifier Destanee Aiava or second seed Simona Halep for a place in the quarter-finals.
Vera Zvonareva upset the ninth-seeded Alison Riske 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 44 minutes in their first-round clash. The Russian will play a Chinese in either Saisai Zheng or qualifier Qinwen Zheng in the second round. Zvonareva’s compatriot, Liudmila Samsonova’s Melbourne sojourn, meanwhile, ended in the first round. German Andrea Petkovic upset the fifth seed 6-3, 7-6(3) in an hour and 33 minutes. Petkovic will play either Shuai Zhang or Clara Burel next for a place in the quarter-finals.
Sixth seed Viktorija Golubic also avoided the spate of upsets to book her place in the round-of-16 at the Melbourne Summer Set 1. The Swiss won against Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-1 in an hour and 31 minutes. In the second round, Golubic will play the winner between Dutch qualifier Leslie Pattinama Kerkhove and Australian wildcard Seone Mendez.