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Osaka wins at French Open for 1st time since '21

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Published in Breaking News
Sunday, 26 May 2024 08:07

Naomi Osaka labored past unseeded Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round of the French Open on Sunday to claim her first win at Roland Garros in three years.

Returning from a 15-month maternity break this year, Osaka had fallen in the first round at the Australian Open in January but looked set to breeze into the second round in Paris as the former world No. 1 bombarded Bronzetti from the baseline.

The four-time Grand Slam champion had not won at the French Open since 2021, when she ultimately withdrew from the event after clashing with tournament officials for skipping her mandatory media obligations.

"There were moments I played pretty well, but I was pretty nervous and got really tight," Osaka said during an on-court interview.

Osaka dominated the first set on a gusty Philippe Chatrier court to wrap it up in 28 minutes, but her unforced errors rose steeply in the second, allowing Bronzetti to break in the crucial game at 5-4 and force a decider.

But Osaka, 26, got back on track in the deciding set and had the opportunity to break for a 5-0 lead but appeared to implode as world No. 67 Bronzetti clawed her way back into the contest.

Osaka pounced for a crucial break in the 11th game before finally clinching the back-and-forth battle.

No. 48-ranked Bronzetti 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.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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