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Naomi Osaka starts on positive note at Miami Open

Sportsnaut
Mar 23, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) warms up prior to her match against Astra Sharma (AUS) (not pictured) in a first round women's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka wasted little time winning her first-round matchup at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Osaka cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Astra Sharma of Australia in one hour and 20 minutes. The 24-year-old Osaka advanced to face Angelique Kerber of Germany in the second round.

The victory allowed Osaka to turn the page on her most recent performance, in which a heckler brought her to tears during a loss against Veronika Kudermetova of Russia.

“I didn’t want to let anything bother me, no matter what happened,” Osaka said. “The last match I played was not the greatest memory for me. I wanted to prove that I could come back out here and compete, and no matter if I won or lost, to just know that I had the best attitude I could.”

In other action at Miami, Linda Fruhvirtova notched her first career win at the WTA1000 level. The 16-year-old from the Czech Republic beat Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-0, 6-4 in a match that lasted one hour and 14 minutes.

Madison Brengle advanced to the next round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Filipina Alexandra Eala. Fellow American Lauren Davis also advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Yue Yuan of China.

Sloane Stephens of the U.S. needed one hour and 39 minutes to advance to the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Panna Udvardy of Hungary. Stephens, who is ranked No. 38 in the world, is seeking her eighth career title in WTA singles competition.

Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu overcame a slow start to post a 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-1 win over American Hailey Baptiste.

Meanwhile, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus held on for a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Wang Xinyu of China.

Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic won the final match of the day with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

–Field Level Media