Naomi Osaka reached the third round of the 2022 Australian Open with a sublime performance in her second-round match against Madison Brengle on Wednesday. The defending titlist won 6-0, 6-4 in 65 minutes. The opening set was entirely dictated by the Japanese.
Taking control over the proceedings from the baseline, Osaka fired winner-after-winner even as Brengle struggled to match up to her opponent’s intensity and her shot-making. Osaka’s dominance over the set was so striking that while she hit 14 winners in it, Brengle couldn’t manage to land even one in.
In comparison, the second set was quite closer with Osaka’s serve suddenly coming into trouble. The situation looked similar to the mid-match hiccups she’d suffered in her round-of-128 match against Camila Osorio where she was unable to find the same rhythm on her serve that she’d been able to, at the start of the match.
Australian Open: Naomi Osaka makes a case for herself
Osaka’s woes on her serve and her heightened error-prone shot-making were in stark comparison to Brengle, whose level in the second set looked to have been bettered.
The American had break points on each of Osaka’s first four service games accounting for a total of 10 break points. While Osaka saved nine of these, she faltered on the 10th and was broken in the seventh game of the set.
Seemingly, this seemed to rejuvenate her and she was able to extract better margin on her shots, firing winners once again. Brengle went on to concede the break back in the eighth game and in the 10th game of the set, while trying to serve to stay in the match, surrendered her serve for the second time giving Osaka the victory.
Osaka had 37 winners for the match to Brengle’s paltry four. She also had 32 unforced errors to the American’s 14. Osaka’s now on a five-match winning run in 2022, going back to Melbourne Summer Set 1. In terms of her next opponent here, at the Major, Osaka will play another American in Amanda Anisimova.
Anisimova upset the 22nd-seeded Belinda Bencic 6-2, 7-5 in their round-of-64 match-up. In the final match of day three of the 2022 Australian Open, fifth seed Maria Sakkari got the better of Qinwen Zheng. Sakkari won 6-2, 6-4 staving off the Chinese qualifier, who looked to be picking up momentum in the final moments of the second set.
Zheng saved two match points in the ninth game of the set to bring the set back on serve. But she wasn’t able to prevent Sakkari from securing the win on her fourth match point on her serve, in the 10th game. Sakkari will next play 28th seed Veronika Kudermetova.
The Russian won against Elena-Gabriela Ruse, 6-2, 7-5.