Defending Titlist and Finalist Start Strong Defending champion and third seed Naomi Osaka opened her title-defence bid successfully at the 2020 Australian Open on Monday. The Japanese defeated the Czech Republic’s Maria Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes.
One area of potency for Osaka in the match was in her net game. The two-time Major champion 88% points at the net to Bouzkova’s 50%. She went to end the match with 29 winners and 28 unforced errors, with a total of 64 points for the match.
Despite the ease with which she started off; Osaka admitted to feeling nervy in her post-match interview. She said, “It was really tough for me trying to control my nerves. I was really thankful to get through in two [sets].
I’ve never played her before. It’s really tough to play someone you’ve never played in the first round of a Grand Slam”. Osaka’s opponent in 2019 final, Petra Kvitova also enjoyed a buoyant showing against fellow Czech Republican, Katerina Siniakova.
Kvitova came through in 50 minutes, with a 6-1, 6-0 score-line. Playing under the roof, after rain lashed hard in Melbourne, the 29-year-old’s all-court game was in full flow against her compatriot, whose erratic shot-making also added to her woes.
Siniakova was so troubled by the course of the proceedings that she was in tears while trying to serve to remain in the match, in the sixth game of the second set. However, she maintained her poise and went on to finish the match with her head held high.
The win saw Kvitova better her head-to-head against Siniakova, 3-0. After the match, in her on-court interview, Kvitova half-jokingly mentioned, “The serve helped me a lot today. We are raising money for the aces, right? So, I really tried”.
The Czech had hit eight aces in the match. Former Champion’s Winning Swansong 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki started her farewell event with an emphatic win over the United States’ Kristie Ahn on Monday.
The former world no. 1 won 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 25 minutes. While the first set was straightforward, the second set was a tad difficult for the Dane to navigate against Ahn’s wily play. But both players also had to realign their focus after rain interruption led to the closing of the roof on the Melbourne Arena, midway through the second set.
Of the two, it was Wozniacki who adjusted to the conditions better following the closure of the roof. Wozniacki ended the match with 37 points to Ahn’s 30. After the match, Wozniacki said it was not easy for her to control her emotions, given the emotional heft of this event, this year.
“I feel good having won my first match here. You know, it's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament. There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today,” she shared.
Other Results In the other day session matches, on Court 3 14th seed of the US, Sofia Kenin defeated Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-4. American qualifier, Ann Li, meanwhile, won against Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera 7-6(4), 7-6(10), in the second match of the day on the same court.
On Court 5, Germany’s Julia Goerges won against Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 6-1, 6-2. Czech qualifier Barbora Krejcikova defeated Kaia Kanepi 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 on the same court, in the next match. Thirteenth seed Petra Martic defeated qualifier Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0 on Court 7.
On Court 11, Saisai Zheng got past Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 6-3, 6-2. On Court 13, Lin Zhu defeated Viktoria Golubic 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5). On Court 19, 25th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova won against Jil Teichmann 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Tamara Zidansek came through over South Korean wildcard Na Lae Han 6-3, 6-3 in the second match of the day, on Court 12. On Court 22, Paula Badosa defeated qualifier Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-0. Sorana Cirstea followed this match with an upset over 32nd seed Barbora Strycova 6-2, 7-6(5). Photo Credit: Aus Open Twitter