Japanese medal hope Naomi Osaka sailed into the third spherical of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, whereas males’s primary Novak Djokovic remained regular on his quest to develop into the primary male participant to finish the Golden Slam.
4-times Grand Slam champion Osaka’s 6-3 6-2 victory over Swiss Viktorija Golubic got here as a few of her closest opponents within the girls’s singles crashed out.
World quantity three Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus fell to Donna Vekic in an exhilarating three-set encounter on Centre Courtroom, with the Croatian prevailing 6-4 3-6 7-6(3).
Sabalenka’s loss got here a day after top-ranked Australian Ash Barty stumbled out in a lopsided defeat to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Two-time Wimbledon champion and the Czech Republic’s Olympic flagbearer Petra Kvitova was overwhelmed by Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 5-7 6-3 6-0, whereas final 12 months’s French Open champion Iga Swiatek fell 6-3 7-6(4) to Spaniard Paula Badosa.
Osaka, who returned to competitors this week after pulling out of the French Open citing psychological well being points and taking a two-month break, has been spectacular whereas embracing her position as one of many host nation’s most outstanding ambassadors of the Video games.
Profitable Olympic gold on house soil can be the icing on the cake, although Osaka mentioned she was decided to not look too far forward.
“Effectively you already know, undoubtedly it will imply rather a lot for me to win gold right here however I do know it is a course of,” mentioned the world quantity two, who subsequent performs Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
“, these are the most effective gamers on the earth and I truthfully have not performed shortly so I am attempting to maintain it one match at a time. All in all, I am simply actually blissful to be right here.”
Earlier than coming to the Video games, Osaka had not performed a match since withdrawing after the primary spherical at Roland Garros in Could amid controversy over her determination to skip obligatory information conferences through the event in a bid to guard her psychological well being.
French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova additionally superior, beating Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-2 6-4, whereas two-time main champion Garbine Muguruza made quick work of China’s Wang Qiang, successful 6-3 6-0.
‘NOVAK ON TRACK’
Prime-ranked Djokovic, who’s trying to develop into the primary man to win all 4 Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in the identical calendar 12 months, had a 6-4 6-3 win over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany within the males’s singles.
The gamers have been evenly matched at the beginning of first set however the 20-time Grand Slam champion proved too robust, pouncing on Struff’s serve whereas main 5-3 to take the primary set.
An early break within the second secured the victory.
“It was a troublesome opponent for a second spherical… however you already know, I am very happy with the best way I felt on the courtroom,” Djokovic advised reporters.
Struff’s compatriot and fourth seed Alexander Zverev brushed apart Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia 6-2 6-2, whereas world quantity two Daniil Medvedev breezed via with a snug 6-2 6-1 win over India’s Sumit Nagal.
The tennis event reported its first COVID-19 case amongst gamers on Monday after males’s doubles competitor Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands examined constructive.
Rojer is the sixth member of the Dutch Olympic delegation to check constructive after infections reported by a skateboarder, a taekwondo fighter and three members of the rowing staff, together with workers.
Rojer and his accomplice Wesley Koolhof have been positioned in isolation, whereas their second-round opponents from New Zealand obtained a walkover into the quarter-finals, the Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) mentioned in a press release.