Olympics-Tennis-Osaka, top seeds book third round spots
Japanese medal hope Naomi Osaka sailed into the third round of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, sweeping past 50th-ranked Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-2, as other top seeds in the singles events also advanced.
TOKYO: Japanese medal hope Naomi Osaka sailed into the third round of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, sweeping past 50th-ranked Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-2, as other top seeds in the singles events also advanced.
Men's fourth seed Alexander Zverev brushed aside Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia 6-2 6-2, while world number two Daniil Medvedev breezed through with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win over India's Sumit Nagal.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova continued her run of good form, taking out Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-2 6-4, while two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza made short work of China's Wang Qiang, winning 6-3 6-0.
Osaka, who returned to competition this week after a two-month break, has been in impressive form while embracing her role as one of the host country's most prominent ambassadors of the Games.
Winning Olympic gold on home soil would be the icing on the cake though Osaka said she was determined not to look too far ahead.
"Well you know, definitely it would mean a lot for me to win gold here but I know it's a process," she said.
"You know, these are the best players in the world and I honestly haven't played in a while so I'm trying to keep it one match at a time. All in all, I'm just really happy to be here."
Osaka had not played a match since withdrawing after the first round at the French Open in May, amid controversy over her decision to skip mandatory news conferences during the tournament in a bid to protect her mental health.
The four-time Grand Slam singles champion was relentless in her match against Golubic, barely troubled on serve in the first set and reeling off four games in a row to start the second.
Osaka secured the win with a powerful forehand to set up a meeting with Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
'FIRST POSITIVE CASE'
The tennis tournament reported its first COVID-19 case among players on Monday after men's doubles competitor Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands tested positive.
Rojer is the sixth member of the Dutch Olympic delegation to test positive after infections reported by a skateboarder, a taekwondo fighter, and three members of the rowing team, including staff.
Rojer and his partner Wesley Koolhof were placed in isolation, while their second round opponents from New Zealand received a walkover into the quarter-finals, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)