Osaka upsets No. 4 seed Mertens at Libema Open for first grass court Win since 2019

ROSMALEN,Netherland: Naomi Osaka made a triumphant return to grass courts on Tuesday, securing her first win on the surface since 2019 by defeating No. 4 seed Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. The former World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam champion from Japan showcased her power and precision, firing seven aces and saving the only break point she faced during the 69-minute match against Belgium’s Mertens.

Osaka’s performance was dominant from the start, as she broke Mertens’ serve early and maintained her momentum throughout the match. Her serve was particularly effective, allowing her to dictate play and keep Mertens on the defensive. This victory marks a significant milestone for Osaka, who has struggled on grass in recent years but appears to be finding her form as the season progresses.

In other action involving seeded players, No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States cruised past Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 victory. Pegula’s consistent and aggressive play proved too much for Sasnovich, ensuring her smooth passage to the next round.

No. 3 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia also advanced with a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Australia’s Arina Rodionova. Alexandrova’s powerful groundstrokes and tactical acumen were key to her success, as she controlled the rallies and minimized errors.

Sixth-seeded Yuan Yue of China faced a tougher challenge but ultimately prevailed, rallying from a set down to defeat Russia’s Diana Shnaider 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. Yuan’s resilience and determination were on full display as she battled back to claim the win.

Meanwhile, a match between eighth-seeded Magda Linette of Poland and American Robin Montgomery was suspended at 5-5 in the third set due to fading light. Linette took the first set 7-6 (4), while Montgomery captured the second set 6-3. The thrilling contest will resume on Wednesday, with both players eager to secure their place in the next round.(Reuters)

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