Naomi Osaka Marks Return to Italian Open with Convincing Victory

Former world number one Naomi Osaka made a triumphant return to the Italian Open with a straight-sets win over France’s Clara Burel in the first round. Osaka’s victory marks her first appearance at the tournament since 2021, showcasing her prowess on the clay courts of Rome.

Facing off against Burel, ranked 45th in the world, Osaka secured a 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 victory, demonstrating her dominance on the court. Notably, it was Osaka’s first win against a top-50 opponent on clay since her victory over Victoria Azarenka at the French Open in 2019.

Osaka, who recently welcomed her first daughter, exhibited her trademark power and precision throughout the match, finishing with 27 winners, including eight aces. Reflecting on her performance, Osaka acknowledged her improvement in the second set and expressed her determination to learn from her mistakes for the upcoming matches.

With her confidence soaring, Osaka sets her sights on the second round, where she will face 19th seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine.

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