Osaka enjoys winning start in bid to end clay court jinx

Madrid (AFP) –


Japan's Naomi Osaka began her bid to capture a first clay court title with a 7-5, 6-2 win over compatriot Misaki Doi in the opening round of the Madrid Open on Friday.

The 23-year-old world number two eased into the last 32 in 87 minutes on the back of six aces and five breaks of serve.

Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, has seven career hard court titles to her name, but has never managed to lift a clay court trophy.

The closest she came to breaking that run was a semi-place spot in Stuttgart in 2019.

Osaka, whose best performance in Madrid was a last-eight place in 2019, will tackle Karolina Muchova, the 20th-ranked Czech, in the next round.