Naomi Osaka defeated Patricia Maria Tig in the first round of the 2021 French Open on Sunday. The Japanese won 6-4, 7-6(4) in an hour and 47 minutes. It was a slow start for the world no. 2 in the opening set as she faced a break point in the first game of the match.
However, she staved it off and put herself on the scoreboard against the Romanian. The second game of the set was a lengthy duel as Osaka mounted pressure on Tig with angled shots and short returns that caught her off-guard.
While these tactics of Osaka helped her secure four break points, her errors also allowed Tig to save three of these. However, Tig wasn’t able to save the fourth as Osaka secured the break on her fourth break point.
French Open: Naomi Osaka's racquet does the talking
Thereafter, for the next five games, there was no looking back for Osaka as she raced away to a 5-2 lead.
In the eighth game, on the world no. 63’s serve, Osaka had the first three of her six set points but Tig saved the lot to make Osaka try and serve out the set. In the ninth game, Tig was able to exploit Osaka’s nerviness with a few well-timed points to break the four-time Grand Slam champion for the first time in the match.
However, Tig’s attempt to consolidate the break back in the 10th game saw her go down 0-40, giving Osaka three more match points. This time around, there were no missteps from Osaka who broke Tig again to take the set and the lead in the match after 47 minutes.
In the second set, Tig upped her level significantly and kept up with Osaka’s pace right through regulation time. The set remained on serve right up to the 12th game when Osaka had the first of her two match points on Tig’s serve.
However, the Romanian saved it and extended the set onto the tie-break. In the tie-break, Osaka gained a mini-break to go up 2-1 but gave it right back in the next point. Two points later, the Japanese once again secured a mini-break to go up 5-2 but yet again, squandered the lead with two unforced errors.
But as in the first set, during the crucial moments of the second set, Tig wasn’t able to sustain her level as she surrendered one more mini-break that brought up the second match point for Osaka, 6-4 in the tie-break.
A winner off Osaka’s racquet then finally wrapped up the proceedings. In the second round at the French Open, Naomi Osaka will take on another Romanian, Ana Bogdan. Bogdan defeated Italian lucky loser Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-3 in their first-round match.