Naomi Osaka Beats Camila Osorio in Straight Sets in 1st Round of 2022 Australian Open

Erin WalshJanuary 17, 2022

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 17: Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a forehand in her first round singles match against Camila Osorio of Colombia during day one of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Defending champion Naomi Osaka defeated rising Colombian star Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open on Sunday at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

Osaka entered the Australian Open, a tournament she's won twice (2019, 2021), with an unusually low seed after taking some time off from tennis in 2021.

The 13th seed was dominant in last year's tournament, dropping just one set en route to the title. She beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ons Jabeur, Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams and Jennifer Brady in what was one of her most impressive runs in a major tournament.

Things are certainly looking up for Osaka after her career took a turn for the worse since last year's Australian Open. She withdrew from the French Open after being fined for refusing to speak with the media for mental health reasons.

Osaka then skipped Wimbledon and didn't return to action until the Tokyo Olympics, where she was knocked out in the third round by Marketa Vondrousova. She also made an early exit at the U.S. Open and, after taking another break from tennis, returned to the court at the Melbourne Summer Set, where she was forced to pull out because of an abdominal injury.

Osaka entered the Australian Open with a 3-1 record in 2022 after victories over Alize Cornet, Maryna Zanevska and Andrea Petkovic.

Osaka and Osorio had never met before Sunday's first round. Osorio entered having not played a competitive match since losing in the final of the Tenerife Ladies Open in October, and she showed some rust to open things up.

It was a relatively easy first set for Osaka, as Osorio struggled to settle in. Osaka took the first five games before Osorio began to challenge. The Colombian won the next three games before Osaka closed things out in the ninth game of the set after Osorio lost a point with a forehand forced error.

Osorio looked far better in the second set, as she made Osaka work for the win. She opened up the set with a victory before Osaka went on to win the next three games.

Osorio challenged by winning two more games, but Osaka again took the ninth game of the second set as her opponent lost the final point with a backhand forced error.

Osaka committed 28 unforced errors compared to Osorio's 15. She also had four aces, won 83 percent (24 of 29) of her first serves and 50 percent (14 of 28) of her second serves.

In addition, Osaka won 67 percent (four of six) break points, had 19 winners compared to Osorio's five and had 62 total points won, compared to her opponent's 49.

After the match, Osaka was asked about what it felt like to return to Melbourne and how she felt she played.

"I thought I played really well given the circumstances," Osaka told Jelena Dokic on court (h/t The Guardian). "I didn't really have that much information on my opponent. I thought she played amazing. She was fighting for every point. I think that's a really good quality. I'm sure we'll see her on this court pretty frequently. Yeah, I'm just overall I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to see everyone in the audience. I'm really glad, and I hope we give you a really good performance."

The first round between Osaka and Osorio lasted just 68 minutes, highlighting how truly impressive the former was in her return to a major tournament. Osaka joins Maria Sakkari, Elina Svitolina, Belinda Bencic, Amanda Anisimova, and Camila Giorgi in the second round.