Of all the weird events that already happened during this one-of-a-kind Australian Open, few moments were as weird as the tournament’s draw ceremony, instead of the usual glamorous presentation, the draw was made live from a claustrophobic office in Melbourne Park, where the draw coordinator mispronounced countless names and no one could actually see the pairings

By the time they were finally released, the consensus was clear: Naomi Osaka had received a tough, tough draw, possibly filled with a slew of prominent opponents who are more than capable of beating her if she allows

So far, she just hasn’t allowed them to play.On Wednesday, Osaka strolled into the third round with ease, dominating the former No. 4 Caroline Garcia with a 6-2, 6-3 win It was followed by her 6-1, 6-2 demolition in the first round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a former top 15 player who made the quarterfinals of the Australian two years in a row Osaka have lost just seven games in their first two games

Against Garcia, Osaka served flawlessly, winning 83% of the points on her serve, cracking 10 aces in her short time on the court and her first serve at 121 mph. She also controlled the baseline, dictating with cautious aggression and choosing that right moments to tear a point apart at a syringe pace from both wings Osaka finished the match on a fire arm and underlined her victory with an ace. She plays almost as well as ever in the opening rounds of a slam

A clear measure of Osaka’s mental strength is that her level is a direct result of her previous opposition.Tennis players often refuse to look at their draws so they don’t think too far ahead and upset themselves, but before the tournament Osaka caught a glimpse of tweets describing the difficulty of her planned draw. Instead of worrying her, it was just underlined that she had no choice but to be ready, “I feel like it somehow helped too I calmed my nerves because I felt like I couldn’t afford to be so nervous””

Osaka reached a notable point in her career as she matured from a young star to an established top player. The Australian Open played some role a year ago in Melbourne, where she lost in the fourth round in a terrible performance against the then 15-year-old Coco Gauff. She hated this loss and the feeling of proving something every time she stepped onto the square

“There were just a lot of things that happened there around that time that really got me thinking a lot about my life and which is why, like, ‘I play tennis to get other people’s things to prove or is it me playing to have fun because i enjoy it? “From then on I just took that stance and tried to keep going. I did that in New York I think I’ll do it here too,” she said this week

There’s a bigger picture, too.Osaka has already won three Grand Slam titles, but they make up half of their total of six WTA titles.She has described herself as a mental giant who can produce her best tennis in the greatest moments but she has to repeat these skills everywhere

“My career has been very up and down and people don’t really know when I’ll do well in a tournament or when I’ll not”I think my ultimate goal is to get to at least the quarterfinals or better of every tournament I play, and hopefully win most of them. If not, then just to do a really good job.”

As Osaka strolled into the third round, others fought The number 8, Bianca Andreescu, could not continue her comeback tournament when she beat the clever Hsieh Su- 6: 3, 6: 2 in the Rod Laver Arena. Wei fell The ninth seed, Petra Kvitova, could not build up momentum and was beaten in three sentences by Sorana Cirstea, one of the loudest and most critical voices from the harsh quarantine

Simona Halep took a courageous win against home favorites Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round and recovered from 2: 5 in the third set to win 6: 4, 4: 6, 7: 5 in the Third round to get Serena Williams has however reached the quality of Osaka’s performance so far and little more. She moved very well and in the best mood in the press room and reached the third round with a 6: 3, 6: 0 win over Nina Stojanovic from Serbia

Naomi Osaka

World news – AU – Naomi Osaka strolls into the third round of the Australian Open with an ace

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/feb/10/naomi-osaka-australian-open-caroline-garcia-andreescu-kvitova-halep