Wimbledon: Naomi Osaka avoids shock loss after coming up big in dramatic finish

Osaka made a strong start but then got very close to exiting Wimbledon in the first round.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Wimbledon: Naomi Osaka avoids shock loss after coming up big in dramatic finish
© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey

Naomi Osaka has won her first Wimbledon match since 2019 but it didn't come without drama even though the four-time Grand Slam champion made a lightning start to her opener at The All England Club. 

Osaka, who didn't play at Wimbledon for a couple of years due to injuries but also pregnancy last year, edged out world No. 53 Diane Pary 6-1 1-6 6-4 to progress into the second round at The Championships. 

When the match started, the former world No. 1 was blasting winners and absolutely controlling everything. But just when it seemed that Osaka would destroy Parry, the Japanese's level dropped and the Frenchwoman was even twice up by a break in the third set before the four-time Grand Slam champion completed a win in an hour and 32 minutes of play.

For a place in the Wimbledon third round, Osaka will play against either No. 19 seed Emma Navarro or Wang Qiang.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey
 

How Osaka overcame Parry?

As mentioned above, Osaka was lights out in the first set as she broke Parry in the fourth and sixth games to finish the first set on a five-game winning run. In the opener, Osaka also fired 11 winners. 

But after a strong start to the match, Osaka missed out on two break points in the first game of the second set and another two in the third game while also dropping her own serve in the second game. Up by a break, Parry broke Osaka again in the sixth game for a 5-1 lead before serving out for the second set in the following game.

After sealing the second set, Parry also broke Osaka in the first game of the decider but the Japanese instantly got that break back. Then, the Frenchwoman earned another break in the third game but the Japanese got it back in the sixth game. 

In the ninth game, Osaka was close to losing her serve again but the former world No. 1 managed to save two break points and open a 5-4 lead before earning and realizing her first match point on Parry's serve in the 10th game. 

Wimbledon Naomi Osaka
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