Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Osaka regains groove, sends Garcia packing

NAOMI Osaka is back in harness after beating Caroline Garcia in the first round of the women’s singles event of the Qatar Open. | KARIM JAAFAR/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Naomi Osaka put last week’s first-round defeat in Abu Dhabi behind her with a straight sets defeat of 15th seed Caroline Garcia at the Qatar Open on Monday.

This was former world No. 1 Osaka’s second win from the five matches she has played since returning last month after a 15-month time out on maternity leave from the tour.

The Japanese four-time Grand Slam winner was exacting a small measure of revenge on Garcia with this 7-5, 6-4 success in Doha as it was the French star Garcia who knocked her out in the first round of last month’s Australian Open.

And she reckons that she is beginning to find her stride again after becoming a mother.

“I feel like I’m a much better player now. In Australia, my returns weren’t as good and I don’t feel like I was as focused as I am now,” the match winner said.

On coming back physically after pregnancy she added: “It’s been a really tough journey.”

“I felt like I was chasing myself in the past and it honestly wasn’t really healthy to do.”

“After giving birth, I feel I trained really quickly, I’m a very big perfectionist and it’s tough when you don’t see results as quickly.”

“I felt like I was driving a car that wasn’t mine so my body didn’t feel like the body that I was used to.”


‘I feel like I’m a much better player now.’


“It was in that journey I felt like I learned how to love myself as I am now. I got to wake up every day and see my daughter and know that I was strong enough for her to come into this world.”

Osaka’s next assignment on her comeback trail is a second-round date with Petra Martic of Croatia.

This is the second time the pair has crossed swords but it comes a decade after their first encounter.

A 16-year-old Osaka prevailed on that occasion, a final qualifying round match at Stanford in 2014.

The omens did not look great for Osaka on Monday as Garcia won her first 11 service points but she knuckled down and finally broke her opponent when she was serving for the set to level at 5-5.

She then fended off two break points before wrapping up the set with a love break.

A further break of serve in the last game of the match earned her the pick-me-up win she needed after her early knockout a week ago.

“Every time I had a break point opportunity, I was very accurate on my shot,” Garcia said.

“And I was able to take this opportunity in Australia and today I was not.”

“The same as Australia, it was played on very few points alone. Those points she was a better player today.”

Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek began her quest for a third straight title in emphatic fashion with a 6-1, 6-1 second round win over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


SOCIAL MEDIAManny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President...


SOCIAL MEDIAECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the...


Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.


SOCIAL MEDIALegendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man...