Naomi Osaka beaten by Amanda Anisimova as star suffers a shock in the first round of Roland-Garros 2022
Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open first round after a straight-set loss to Amanda Anisimova.
The 24-year-old was making her return to Roland Garros after her dramatic withdrawal in 2021, citing mental health issues before taking a break from the sport.
His preparations during the clay-court season this year have been hampered by an ankle injury that saw him miss the Italian Open ahead of his trip to Paris.
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Having lost to the same opponent in the third round of the Australian Open earlier in the year, Osaka couldn’t keep up with Anisimova in the opening set, as the American dominated with her first and second serves.
In contrast, Osaka committed four double faults and then lost the opener 7-5 on Suzanne Lenglen Court.
The writing was on the wall after a break at 4-3 in the second and despite a brief fightback from the four-time Grand Slam winner in the very next game, she was unable to convert crucial break points.
Anisimova held and then served the win on her third match point.
“Thank you, I knew it was going to be tough as soon as I saw I had Naomi Osaka in the first round,” Anisimova said afterwards. “I knew it would be a tough match.
“I was going there and I knew I had to play good tennis, and like I said, it wasn’t going to be easy. I’m just happy to be back here and to get through the first round. .”
Anisimova reached the French Open semi-finals in 2019 where she lost in straight sets to Ashleigh Barty and is eyeing another deep run in Paris this time around.
“It’s so nice to be back here,” she added. “I had an amazing time [in 2019]very special memories.
“I love playing here in Paris, especially in front of an amazing crowd, so I’m glad I was able to have so much fun in front of you today.”
Corretja ‘not surprised’ by Osaka defeat
Although the result may have come as a surprise to some, two-time French Open finalist and Eurosport pundit Alex Corretja believes the result was actually as expected given the form of the two players entering the tournament.
Anisimova reached the quarter-finals of the Madrid and Italian Open events in the build-up to Roland Garros, while Osaka was knocked out in the second round in Madrid, injuring herself and causing her to miss Rome altogether.
“Anisimova has played better than Naomi on clay in the last two weeks,” Corretja said. “And it was such a tough draw to face Anisimova in the first round. I’m not that surprised [by the result]but Osaka [I’m sure] will play well in the grass season.
Mats Wilander said he was just thrilled to see Osaka back in action and noted that she seemed to be “enjoying” her tennis once again.
“I’m glad she’s back and fighting. She seemed to enjoy it, even though clay isn’t her best surface. Glad she’s back, but a match no one unfortunate for both.”
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