French Open 2019: Naomi Osaka survives first-set bagel to script incredible comeback win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Naomi Osaka battled back from a set and a break down to defeat Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to reach the French Open second round.

Agence France-Presse May 28, 2019 22:26:56 IST
French Open 2019: Naomi Osaka survives first-set bagel to script incredible comeback win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
  • Naomi Osaka battled back from a set and a break down to defeat Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to reach the French Open second round.

  • World No 90 Schmiedlova, who hadn't won a match at the tournament since 2014, twice served for the tie in the 10th and 12th games of the second set.

  • Osaka ended the match with 10 aces, 36 winners and 38 unforced errors with just four of those coming in the decider.

Paris: Japan's Naomi Osaka battled back from a set and a break down to defeat Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Tuesday to reach the Roland Garros second round.

Osaka, bidding to add the French Open to her US and Australian Open titles, was within a whisker of becoming just the second top seed to lose in the first round in Paris in the modern era after Angelique Kerber in 2017.

French Open 2019 Naomi Osaka survives firstset bagel to script incredible comeback win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her first round match against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. AP/Christophe Ena

World No 90 Schmiedlova, who hadn't won a match at the tournament since 2014, twice served for the tie in the 10th and 12th games of the second set.

At one stage, she was just two points away from a famous victory.

But Osaka, who had arrived in Paris still feeling the effects of a hand injury suffered in Rome, battled back to set-up a second-round duel with former World No 1 and two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka.

"I was really close, so it hurts I lost so many chances," said Schmiedlova.

"Maybe I felt like it was against the World No 1. It was not easy in my head."

Osaka was broken three times in the opening set, losing it in just 20 minutes.

The 21-year-old hit 13 unforced errors while the Slovakian didn't need to hit a single winner such was the error-strewn show coming from the other side of the net.

It was the first time since 2000, when Ruxandra Dragomir 'bageled' Martina Hingis, that the top seed in the Roland Garros first round had suffered such an indignity.

The Japanese star had not herself been 'bageled' since the Wimbledon second round in 2017.

Osaka recovered her composure for a break and a 3-0 lead in the second set but a brief suspension for rain disrupted her composure and allowed the Slovakian to hit back to 3-3.

Former top-30 player Schmiedlova served for the tie at 5-4 but Osaka dug deep to save herself.

The errors kept coming and the 24-year-old Slovakian was handed a second chance to serve for victory.

Still, she couldn't convert despite being just two points from victory and Osaka stayed alive, sweeping through the tie-breaker.

That was the cue for Osaka to illustrate the gap of 89 places between her and the slender blonde in the world rankings.

She broke three times in the 25-minute final set to extend her streak at the Slams to 15 successive wins.

Osaka ended the match with 10 aces, 36 winners and 38 unforced errors with just four of those coming in the decider.

Azarenka, a semi-finalist in 2013, reached the second round for the first time since 2015 with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko.

"Just the usual second round match," smiled Azarenka.

"But it's going to be exciting for me. I love to challenge myself against the best players."

Updated Date:

also read

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King
Sports

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King

A look back at the two weeks of French Open which crowned Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova as the men's and women's champions.

French Open 2021: From Nadal's high count of errors to Djokovic learning from past, how epic semi-final was decided
Sports

French Open 2021: From Nadal's high count of errors to Djokovic learning from past, how epic semi-final was decided

Novak Djokovic did the unimaginable by beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open in a high quality, one-for-the-ages contest.

French Open 2021: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reaches first Grand Slam final in 52nd attempt
Sports

French Open 2021: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reaches first Grand Slam final in 52nd attempt

Pavlyuchenkova, a quarter-finalist in Paris a decade ago, became the first woman to play more than 50 majors before making her first final, breaking the previous mark of 44 set by 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci.