WTA Hobart: Putintseva tops Osaka. Buzarnescu ousts Cornet


WTA Hobart: Putintseva tops Osaka. Buzarnescu ousts Cornet

Yulia Putintseva made a promising start in Hobart, defeating Naomi Osaka by 6-3 6-3 in an hour and 13 minutes. Putintseva served at 77% and she lost just 14 points in 9 service games, getting broken once. Osaka didn't feel well in Perth, missing one singles match for her country, and this wasn't her best performance either, losing 45% of the points in her games and suffering 4 breaks from 8 opportunities that Putintseva created.

Naomi netted an easy forehand in game 3 to fall behind and Julia got another break in game 9 that sealed the opener for her. Putintseva found herself 3-1 in front in set number 2 after another basic error from her rival, but Osaka finally pulled her strokes together to break back a few minutes later, reducing the deficit to 3-2 and staying in contention.

Nonetheless, Julia closed the match in style, rattling off 12 out of the last 16 points to book her place in the second round. Osaka made another mistake in game 8 to get broken at 15 and everything was over when her backhand landed long in the next game.

Mihaela Buzarnescu also reached the second round without too many problems, beating the 4th seed Alize Cornet by 6-2 6-4 in 83 minutes. Romanian tamed her shots nicely and she also served at 75%, which always helps. She lost serve just once, from the only break point she offered to Cornet, but she compensated that with a strong performance on the return, taking almost 50% of the points in Cornet's games and breaking her 4 times from 6 chances.

Alize was in all kind of troubles right from the start, unable to find the range of her shots and dropping the opening 2 service games to find herself 4-0 down in no time at all. Mihaela served well and she grabbed the set with another good hold in game 8, looking to repeat that kind of performance in set number 2 as well.

Cornet saved 2 break points in the first game of set number 2 and that gave her some confidence, breaking her rival at 15 in game 4 for a 3-1 lead. She couldn't stay in front for too long, though, as Buzarnescu broke back in the very next game to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

Romanian saved her best tennis for the closing moments of the match, winning 12 out of the last 15 points to take the set by 6-4, breaking her opponent at love in game 9 to cross the finish line with another solid holds a few minutes later. Sunday's results:


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