By: Paige Hubbard
Top seed Naomi Osaka admitted being a nervous wreck as she narrowly avoided a meek first-round exit at the French Open this week but said she was at full throttle as she outslugged former world number one Victoria Azarenka on Thursday (May 30).
After going toe-to-toe for almost three hours on Court Suzanne Lenglen, 21-year-old Osaka prevailed 4-6 7-5 6-3 after losing the opening four games of the second-round clash.
In arguably the best women’s match of the tournament so far, Osaka slammed 52 winners to the Belarussian’s 35 to stay on course for a third successive Grand Slam title.
Osaka lost the first set 6-0 against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Tuesday before recovering to win.
Thursday’s match followed a similar pattern, but it was several levels higher in terms of quality.
Osaka will hope to avoid finding herself in more bother against Czech Katerina Siniakova as she tries to reach the fourth round here for the first time.