Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning against France's Caroline Garcia. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP
Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning against France's Caroline Garcia. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP

Naomi Osaka powers past Caroline Garcia into Australian Open third round

By AFP Time of article published Feb 10, 2021

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MELBOURNE - Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka thwarted Caroline Garcia on Wednesday with an effortless straight sets victory, as she stormed into the Australian Open third round.

Osaka, the third seed, faced a tricky contest against the Frenchwoman, who was ranked a career-high of fourth in late 2018, but never gave her a sniff in the 6-2, 6-3 victory in 61 minutes.

"I stayed focused throughout the match and I tried to play within myself," Osaka, who hit 23 winners, told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.

"She's a tough opponent because you don't know how she might play."

The three-time Grand Slam winner is riding a 16-match unbeaten streak -- including the US Open final -- dating back 12 months, and is building momentum having not played before arriving in Australia since her triumph in New York.

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The 2019 Australian Open champion cruised through the opening set to draw first blood and snuffed out any challenge from 43-ranked Garcia with a break in the sixth game of the second before finishing it off in style with her 10th ace.

Osaka is eyeing redemption after her title defence last year ended with a shock loss to American teenager Coco Gauff in the third round.

She faces 27th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the third round.

AFP

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