Tennis: Osaka enjoys rollercoaster win in Miami

Saturday, 2019-03-23 07:14:25
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Naomi Osaka of Japan serves against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. (Reuters)
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World number one Naomi Osaka endured a rollercoaster start to the Miami Open on Friday (Mar 22) advancing to the third round with a 6-0 6-7(3) 6-1 win over Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

After facing eight-times Miami champion Serena Williams in her first match last year, Osaka might have expected an easier opener on Friday against the 141st-ranked Belgian qualifier.

Yet that was not the case as she needed more than two hours to dispose of her Belgian opponent, having dispatched the 23-times grand slam singles champion 6-3 6-2 a year earlier.

Osaka will next face Taiwan's 27th seed Hsieh Su-wei who was a 6-2 7-5 winner over American Alison Riske.

Serena Williams survived a scare in her opening match of the WTA and ATP Miami Open Friday, emphatically losing the second set before seeing off Sweden's Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.

On the men’s side, Japan’s world no. 6 Kei Nishikori suffered a 2-6 6-2 6-3 second-round loss to Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

Fifth-seed Nishikori had a first-round bye and appeared to be heading for a routine victory until Lajovic, who was misfiring in the early stages of the match, suddenly stepped up his game.

Next up for world number 44 Lajovic, who had lost in the first round of five tour-level events this season, will be a clash with either 27th seed Nick Kyrgios or qualifier Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.

Top seed Novak Djokovic will kick off the night session with a clash against Australian Bernard Tomic.