Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka made a winning return to the court on Tuesday, beating China’s Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in a challenging first-round match at the Silicon Valley Classic.
Coming back from an Achilles injury that kept her sidelined since her first-round exit from the French Open, Osaka had her hands full against the 19-year-old Zheng, who looked to match the four-time Grand Slam winner’s power from the baseline.
Naomi Osaka of Japan plays in a first-round match at the Silicon Valley Classic against China’s Zheng Qinwen on Aug. 2, 2022, in San Jose, California. (Kyodo)
One break decided each of the first two sets before world No. 41 Osaka took control against her 51st-ranked opponent in the deciding set.
Osaka, who received a wild card entry to the U.S. Open warmup in San Jose, will face French Open runner-up Coco Gauff in the second round.
The Japanese star has won two of her three previous meetings with American world No. 11 Gauff.
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