Naomi Osaka has put last week’s first round defeat in Abu Dhabi behind her with a straight sets defeat of 15th seed Caroline Garcia at the Qatar Open. Monday’s win was Osaka’s second win from the five matches she has played since returning last month after a 15-month time out on maternity leave from the tour.
The Japanese four-time Grand Slam winner was exacting a small measure of revenge on Garcia with this 7-5, 6-4 success in Doha as it was the French star Garcia who knocked her out in the first round of last month’s Australian Open.
Osaka’s next assignment on her comeback trail is a second round date with Petra Martic of Croatia. This is the second time the pair have crossed path but it comes a decade after their first encounter. A 16-year-old Osaka prevailed on that occasion, a final qualifying round match at Stanford in 2014.