Top-ranked Naomi Osaka gets 1st-round win in Birmingham on grass


first_imgView comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns to Greece’s Maria Sakkari during day four of the Nature Valley Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, England, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (David Davies/PA via AP)BIRMINGHAM, England — A day after saying she was “not really that comfortable” playing on grass, top-ranked Naomi Osaka needed three sets to get past her first-round opponent at the Birmingham Classic on Tuesday.Osaka lost the second set to Maria Sakkari of Greece before recovering to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, for only her 11th tour-level victory on grass.ADVERTISEMENT “During my entire clay season, it kind of mattered and I think it showed because I was kind of stressed out the entire time,” she said. “So, now, I’m just having fun. I’m enjoying it. And I know that if I play well, then I’ll be No. 1.”Osaka will next face Yulia Putintseva, who defeated Britain’s Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4.Rain washed out much of the schedule Tuesday, with second-seeded Ashleigh Barty — the newly crowned French Open champion — among those who will have to try again on Wednesday.Julia Goerges recovered to defeat Dayana Yastremska 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 while former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko eased past Wimbledon junior champion Iga Swiatek 6-0, 6-2 and will now face Johanna Konta.Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic set up a first tour-level meeting with her twin sister, Karolina, by defeating Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-4.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too MOST READ “I was kind of screaming on the inside during that entire match,” Osaka said in her on-court interview. “I got lucky a little bit, I guess.”Osaka has yet to make it past the third round at Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I felt better than the two practice days,” Osaka said. “And I feel every day that I play on grass of course I’m going to learn how to play better, but for now I’m just really happy I was able to win that match.”Osaka needs to reach the final in Birmingham to guarantee holding on to top spot in the rankings heading into Wimbledon.center_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Roger Federer off to winning start in bid for 10th Halle title Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img

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