Japan teen Osaka rolls on in Tokyo


Tokyo—Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka blazed into the second round of the Japan Women’s Open after thrashing Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old, born of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, barely broke sweat in Tokyo, smashing winners from all angles to underline her credentials after a breakthrough year on the women’s tour.
“When I lost against (Madison) Keys at the US Open I didn’t really have a chance to dictate,” said Osaka, the world number 69, who reached the third round in New York and at the Australian and French Open and models her game on Serena Williams.
“In that match, she was hitting the ball so hard,” she added.
“But today I really wanted to make sure I was aggressive and force the pace.”
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Johanna Larsson was the latest seed to fall, the number four beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 by American Varvara Lepchenko in a second-round match.
Kazakstan’s Yulia Putintseva, the third seed and highest-ranked survivor, won her opening match against Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-3.
In other second-round matches, Czech Katerina Siniakova beat American Louisa Chirico 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 while Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova overpowered Korean Su-Jeong Jang 6-3, 6-1.—AFP