World number one Osaka mirrors Serena Williams’ win, surviving 3-set thriller at French Open
Like Williams, who also needed three sets to book a ticket to the tournament’s next round, Osaka was forced to apply maximum effort on Tuesday to go past the first round of the French Open. She took a hard-fought three-set victory over Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
The 21-year-old tennis star claimed a 0-6, 7-6, 6-1 victory despite having a disastrous start where she failed to take any single game allowing her less-decorated rival to register a more than confident 6-0 win in the first set.
The beginning of the second set was more optimistic for the Japanese star who immediately broke Schmiedlova to take a 3-0 lead.
However, the two-time Grand Slam winner quickly squandered that advantage allowing her Slovakian opponent to win next three games.
Osaka and Schmiedlova exchanged breaks in the end of the second set to stretch the game into a nerve-wrecking tie-break where Osaka took the upper hand 7-6 (7-4).
Visibly inspired by her successful on-court actions Osaka went on to dominate the game effortlessly winning the match-decider 6-1. On Monday, 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams also spent three sets on the clay court to seal a 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 win against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko.