Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka beat qualifier Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria in straight sets on Wednesday to reach the Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals.
Making her first appearance at the tournament following a first-round bye, top seed Osaka outclassed Tomova, ranked 181st in the world, 7-5, 6-3 in Osaka, western Japan.
“I was a little nervous at the beginning,” admitted Osaka, seeking to clinch her first victory at the home event after being runner-up in 2016 and 2018.
Osaka, who crashed out of this month’s US Open in the last 16, started slowly, losing the first three games in the first set, but later found her rhythm with solid serves and crisp volleying to secure the first set.
Tomova’s quick court coverage caused Osaka difficulty throughout the match but in the end the two-time Grand Slam champion had too much power for her lowly opponent, serving a succession of rapid aces.—APP