Naomi Osaka makes triumphant return in first match back

Melbourne, Australia – Naomi Osaka struggled to victory over Alize Cornet in the first round of the Melbourne Summer Set as the reigning Australian Open champion played her first match in four months.

Naomi Osaka came out with a win in the first round of the Melbourne Summer Set.
Naomi Osaka came out with a win in the first round of the Melbourne Summer Set.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The warm-up tournament’s top seed, who is back on tour for the first time since the US Open following mental health struggles, will face either Petra Martic or Maryna Zanevska after defeating Cornet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over two hours and two minutes.

"I really love playing here," Osaka said in comments shared by the WTA after the match.

"I love New York, but this might be my favorite slam so it feels really good to always come back here."

LeBron James backs Ohio State with some glamorous gear ahead of Michigan showdown!
Athletes LeBron James backs Ohio State with some glamorous gear ahead of Michigan showdown!

The Japanese player committed 57 unforced errors, including eight double faults, as she struggled with her accuracy at Melbourne Park.

Osaka took the opening set and took an early break in the second before Cornet fought back to win four straight games and the set.

The former world number one, now ranked 13th, claimed the first three games of the final set then served out the win from a 0-30 deficit.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

More on the topic Athletes: