Advertising

MATCH POINT: Naomi Osaka (JPN) def. Camila Serrano (COL) in the 2022 Australian Open first round.

It’s like she’s never been away. In her first match in four months, 13th seed Naomi Osaka got her Australian Open title defense up and running with a confident 6-3, 6-3 victory over rising Colombian Camila Osorio on Monday.

Osaka fired her way into the second round with 19 winners against Osorio, who hit just five of her own as the Japanese player effectively imposed her big-hitting game.

“I thought I played pretty well, given the circumstances,” Osaka said afterward. “I didn’t really have that much information on my opponent, but I thought she played amazing. She was fighting for every point.”

Advertising

World No. 50 Osorio won her first WTA level title last year at home in Bogota, and was making her Australian Open main draw debut. But she never got going against Osaka, and quickly fall behind 5-0 as the two-time champion raced to a double break.

Osaka navigated a tricky moment as the Colombian snatched back three consecutive games to narrow the gap. She shook off two more break points with her forehand before closing out the set. From there, it was smooth sailing for Osaka, as she broke Osorio twice more to claim her first victory on Rod Laver Arena.

“It definitely always feels special to come back here, and I played the warm-up tournament [in Melbourne] before the Grand Slam a week ago,” Osaka said. “I have a lot of really good memories here, so it always feels nice to start the year at this tournament.”

Osaka improved her impressive record in Grand Slam first rounds to 19-2. She awaits the winner of Dayana Yastremska and Madison Brengle.