French Open: Naomi Osaka Secures Hard-Fought Victory Over Lucia Bronzetti

(MENAFN- IANS) Paris, May 26 (IANS) Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka fought off a fierce comeback from Italy's Lucia Bronzetti to secure her first victory at Roland Garros in three years. Japan's Osaka, who recently returned from maternity leave, clinched the win 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, overcoming late resistance from the world number 67.

Osaka's return to the clay courts of Paris was met with anticipation, as the former world number one aimed to improve her record at the French Open, where she has never advanced past the last 32. The match began on a gusty Court Philippe-Chatrier, where Osaka swiftly took control, winning five consecutive games to wrap up the first set in just 27 minutes.

However, Bronzetti was not to be dismissed easily. After initially struggling against Osaka's powerful serve, the Italian found her rhythm in the second set. With tenacity, Bronzetti converted a critical break point at 5-4, forcing a decider and bringing the match to an unexpected climax.

The final set saw Osaka in a commanding position, leading 4-0, but Bronzetti mounted a remarkable comeback, leveling the score. Yet, Osaka's resilience shone through as she broke Bronzetti's serve once more, regaining her lead and finally serving out the match to complete the two-hour battle.

Looking ahead, Osaka faces a daunting challenge in the second round, where she is set to meet defending champion and heavy title favorite Iga Swiatek. Swiatek, who will take on France's Leolia Jeanjean in her opener, represents a significant hurdle for Osaka, but the match promises to be a highlight of the tournament.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Latvian ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romanian Jaqueline Cristian. The 2017 champion will next face either Tatjana Maria of Germany or Dane Clara Tauson. Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska, seeded 30th, overcame a set deficit to defeat Australian wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.



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