Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 |
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Naomi Osaka, of Japan, left, shakes hands after her win with Zheng Qinwen, of China, during their first round match at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka won the first match she’s played since May, beating Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Tuesday night at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Osaka hit 11 aces and saved 7 of 8 break points in the hard-court tournament that serves as a tuneup for the U.S. Open.
Osaka had not played anywhere since a first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open on May 23.
The former No. 1-ranked player was bothered by her left Achilles tendon during that defeat, then cited that lingering injury when she pulled out of Wimbledon in June.
Osaka won the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020.
Next up for Osaka is Coco Gauff, who won her match 6-0, 6-1 over Anhelina Kalinina. Osaka leads their head-to-head series 2-1, including a victory over Gauff at the 2019 U.S. Open. Gauff was the runner-up at this year’s French Open.
Another past champion at Flushing Meadows, 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu, lost Tuesday in San Jose, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Shelby Rogers.
In other first-round action, qualifier Elizabeth Mandlik won her WTA debut, defeating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-3, 6-3, and No. 9 seed Veronika Kudermetova beat Camila Giorgi 7-6 (2), 4-6, 7-5.
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