Naomi Osaka wins at French Open for 1st time since 2021

Naomi Osaka labored previous unseeded Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 within the first spherical of the French Open on Sunday to assert her first win at Roland Garros in three years.

Coming back from a 15-month maternity break this 12 months, Osaka had fallen within the first spherical on the Australian Open in January however appeared set to breeze into the second spherical in Paris as the previous world No. 1 bombarded Bronzetti from the baseline.

The four-time Grand Slam champion had not received on the French Open since 2021, when she finally withdrew from the occasion after clashing with event officers for skipping her necessary media obligations.

“There have been moments I performed fairly nicely, however I used to be fairly nervous and bought actually tight,” Osaka stated throughout an on-court interview.

Different previous winners of main titles who reached the second spherical on Sunday included Sofia Kenin and Jelena Ostapenko. Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion, misplaced 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Viktorija Golubic — making the Twenty fourth-seeded Krejcikova 0-3 in Paris since going 7-0 three years in the past to take the title.

Osaka acknowledged that she was interested by her lengthy stretch between victories at a Grand Slam earlier than she regained her composure within the third set.

“I used to be type of, in my head, considering I did not win a match in Australia, so I might actually like to win one right here,” she stated. “Clearly that was wasn’t practice of thought. … I type of centered on it a bit an excessive amount of as a substitute of making an attempt to play level by level, and I feel in direction of the tip I used to be capable of erase that thought from my head.”

Osaka dominated the primary set on a gusty Philippe Chatrier court docket to wrap it up in 28 minutes, however her unforced errors rose steeply within the second, permitting Bronzetti to interrupt within the essential recreation at 5-4 and power a decider.

However Osaka, 26, bought again on monitor within the deciding set and had the chance to interrupt for a 5-0 lead however appeared to implode as world No. 67 Bronzetti clawed her means again into the competition.

Osaka pounced for a vital break within the eleventh recreation earlier than lastly clinching the back-and-forth battle.

No. 48-ranked Bronzetti has by no means received at Roland Garros in three appearances. Her profession file in Grand Slam tournaments is 3-10. In her most up-to-date match on the Morocco Open quarterfinals final week, she led American Peyton Stearns 5-0 within the third set however ended up dropping.

Osaka’s subsequent opponent figures to be high seed and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, the two-time defending French Open champion. Swiatek will face French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean in her first-round match Monday.

“I am truthfully actually excited [about likely playing Swiatek],” Osaka stated after her victory Sunday. “I watched her loads once I was pregnant and truthfully, I feel it is an honor to play her within the French Open, as a result of she’s received greater than as soon as right here. For certain, it is a very massive honor and problem for me.”

Kenin got here again to get previous Laura Siegemund 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Kenin was the Australian Open champion and French Open runner-up in 2020 and now will face No. 21 Caroline Garcia of France.

Amanda Anisimova, an American who reached the 2019 semifinals at Roland Garros as an adolescent, defeated Rebecca Šramková 7-6, 6-4. Anisimova had been 1-3 since getting back from a groin muscle harm that sidelined her since she reached the Australian Open’s fourth spherical in January earlier than dropping to eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka.

“Not having the perfect begin to my Europe swing wasn’t nice. However I used to be going into it making an attempt to actually be taught what I did improper in these tournaments and see what I can regulate,” Anisimova stated. “I am simply pleased with the best way I performed and I fought.”

ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine, Reuters and The Related Press contributed to this report.