Australian Open: Caroline Gracia Stun Osaka, De Minaur Advance To Second Round - Eastern Mirror
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Australian Open: Caroline Gracia stun Osaka, De Minaur advance to second round

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By IANS Updated: Jan 15, 2024 10:24 pm
Australian Open

MELBOURNE — Caroline Garcia showcased a formidable performance, dealing Naomi Osaka a stunning defeat in the first round of the Australian Open 2024 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Garcia’s powerful, focused, and disciplined play dominated the former four-time Grand Slam winner, as she secured a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory in under an hour and a half.

Garcia’s serving prowess laid the foundation for her impressive win, striking 34 winners, including 13 aces, and dropping only four points behind her first serve. Osaka, making a return to the Grand Slam stage just six months after becoming a mother, struggled to break Garcia’s solid game.

Reflecting on her victory, Garcia admitted that most of the match was a blur due to anxiety. Despite the pressure on her serve, she managed to stay solid and aggressive, recognizing Osaka’s remarkable comeback after giving birth.

Osaka, acknowledging her realistic expectations, fought hard in the match, displaying glimpses of her best form. The pivotal moment came at 2-2 in the first set when Osaka’s double fault gave Garcia a break opportunity that she capitalized on.

The second set unfolded without a single break point in the first 12 games, and it was Garcia who made the decisive move in the tiebreak, securing a 7-2 victory and clinching the match.

Garcia’s remarkable form and confidence from this solid display suggest she could be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming rounds.

In another compelling match, local favorite Alex de Minaur faced the experienced Milos Raonic in the first round. De Minaur, entering the top 10 for the first time, found himself challenged by Raonic’s powerful serve.

After an intense battle, Raonic retired early in the third set due to a hip injury, granting De Minaur a 6-7(6), 6-3, 2-0 victory.

De Minaur’s spirit and determination were on full display against the veteran Raonic, who had been plagued by injuries in recent seasons.

As the Australian No. 1 advances to the second round to face Matteo Arnaldi, he remains focused on the task ahead, despite the section of the draw opening up with the early exit of No.18 seed Nicolas Jarry.

Also read: Australian Open: Wozniacki advances to second round after Linette retires

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By IANS Updated: Jan 15, 2024 10:24:17 pm
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