Naomi Osaka Secures Hard-Fought Victory In French Open Opener | CBC Sports

On the first day of the 2024 French Open, Naomi Osaka marked her seventh appearance in Paris with a 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 first-round victory over Lucia Bronzetti.

Osaka picked up her first win at a Grand Slam tournament in more than two years on Sunday, steadying herself after wasting a 4-0 lead in the third set.

“There were moments I played pretty well, but I was pretty nervous and got really tight,” said the No. 134-ranked Osaka of her hard-fought victory during an on-court interview.

She returned to Grand Slam action this January after taking time away while having a baby. Her daughter, Shai, turns 1 in July and is with Osaka in Paris. Things could get interesting for Osaka — a former No. 1 — next, because her second-round foe might be current No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who has won three of the past four French Open trophies.

Osaka won the U.S. Open and Australian Open twice apiece but hasn’t been past the third round in Paris.

No. 48-ranked Bronzetti of Italy has never won at Roland Garros in three appearances. Her career record in Grand Slam tournaments is 3-10. In her most recent match at the Morocco Open quarterfinals last week, she led American Peyton Stearns 5-0 in the third set but ended up losing.

In other women’s results, Sofia Kenin came back to get past Laura Siegemund 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Kenin was the Australian Open champion and French Open runner-up in 2020 and now will face No. 21 Caroline Garcia of France.

Amanda Anisimova, an American who reached the 2019 semifinals at Roland Garros as a teenager, defeated Rebecca Šramková 7-6, 6-4.

2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková lost 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Viktorija Golubic — making the 24th-seeded Krejcikova 0-3 in Paris since going 7-0 three years ago to take the title.

No. 30 Dayan Yastremska eliminated Ajla Tomljanovic while Lesia Tsurenko forfeited after playing less than a set against Donna Vekic because of a back problem.

Diallo falls short in 5-round battleCanada’s Gabriel Diallo rallied but fell just short, losing 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 1-6, 7-5 to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in first-round men’s singles action.

The Montreal native fired 14 aces and committed six double faults in the five-round battle, and broke on eight of his 14 opportunities.

WATCH l Diallo ousted in 1st round of French Open:

Montreal’s Gabriel Diallo falls in opening round marathon match at French OpenMontreal’s Gabriel Diallo fell to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a match that would go 4 hours, 22 minutes with Nishikori coming out victorious 7-5, 7-6(7-3), 3-6, 1-6, 7-5.

Diallo had 10 aces to just one double fault in the final three sets, as he found his way back into the match after dropping a tiebreaker in the second set.

Nishikori had one ace and two double faults, while breaking on six of his 18 chances.

Diallo was the lone Canadian to play on the first day of the major tournament.

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., are set to compete on Monday, while Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., will play on the women’s side.

Alcaraz, Rublev advanceIn other men’s results, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain led a trio of men among the world’s top 10 into the second round.

A fourth was on the verge of a win in a five-set match when play was suspended due to rain.

On the clay courts at Roland Garros, the third-seeded Alcaraz made quick work of J.J. Wolf in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 win.

Alcaraz, dealing with an arm injury, isn’t in peak form. But he was good enough in the one-hour, 53-minute match to manage five aces, convert nine of 14 break chances and hit 27 winners to 20 unforced errors.

Wolf cashed in on only two of seven break opportunities and had just 10 winners compared to 25 unforced errors.

In a more challenging match, Russia’s Andrey Rublev, the sixth seed, rebounded from a second-set downturn to defeat Taro Daniel of Japan 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 in three hours, 11 minutes.

“It was a tough match, and he is a tough player,” Rublev said. “He knows how to play on clay, and we have played a lot of matches against each other, so we know each other very well. The conditions were not easy to play, with the wind and everything, but in the end, we played a great match.”

Rublev won points on 89 percent (58 of 65) of his first serves. He is looking for his first Grand Slam title. He’s advanced as far as the quarterfinals twice at Roland Garros.

“I feel a bit relieved that the match was over in four sets, but still I had a feeling during the match that I had not lost my serve, which also was giving me some confidence,” he said.

The No. 10 seed, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, advanced with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Aleksandar Kovcevic of the United States.

Roland Garros hasn’t been overly kind to Dimitrov through the years — he reached the fourth round for only the second time out of 13 French Opens in 2023 — but he controlled the match behind 35 winners and 16 unforced errors.

When play was interrupted, eighth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland was on the verge of closing out a comeback, five-set win against qualifier Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan. After Mochizuki went up two sets to one, Hurkacz stormed through the fourth set in 21 minutes to win 6-0 and tie the match, then was up 5-2 when play was called.

The biggest upset of the early section of the first round came when 17th-seeded Ugo Humbert lost before his home fans as the Frenchman fell 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

Sonego eliminated Humbert at the French Open in 2023 as well.

Stan Wawrinka repeatedly used his trademark one-handed backhand to get the better of Andy Murray at the French Open once again, beating him 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday night in what might have been Murray’s last singles match at Roland Garros.

Wawrinka, at 39, is just the third man of at least that age to win a match at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since 1980, joining his Swiss countryman and pal Roger Federer, who did it in 2021, and Ivo Karlovic, who did it two years earlier.

Other men’s winners Sunday were Spain’s Pedro Martinez, Zhizhen Zhang of China and Californian Brandon Nakashima.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *