Naomi Osaka Wins Hard-Fought Match to Advance to Qatar Open Round of 32

The former World No. 1 tennis player’s game seems to be trending in the right direction.
Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka.

In January, Naomi Osaka returned to professional tennis after a little over a year-long hiatus from competitive play. Following the 2022 US Open, the Japanese professional athlete stepped away from the game while pregnant with her first child, a daughter, whom she gave birth to last July.

She reentered the professional circuit in a big way. In mid-January, Osaka competed in the Australian Open, one of four Major Championships throughout the calendar year, and only her second tournament since her return.

The 26-year-old couldn’t pull out a win in her first Grand Slam back, though. She fell to French player Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6 in the first round of the tournament. Now, in only her fourth tournament back, she had a chance to avenge that loss. Osaka took on Garcia again in the first round of the Qatar Open on Feb. 12, and this time, she came out on top.

The unranked Osaka won the hard-fought match 7-5, 6-4 against the No. 15 seed. Though it was only a first round win, the tennis pro took to her Instagram to commemorate the match and thank her fans for propelling her to victory.

“Thank you Qatar,” she wrote simply in an Instagram post following the win.

Of the four tournaments that she has competed in since her return, Osaka has only made it to the third round in one—the Abu Dhabi Open. But her play seems to be trending in the right direction. Her win against Garcia, who she wasn’t able to defeat in Australia, was a testament to that. We’re continuing to root for her!

Make sure to follow SI Lifestyle in Google News!

Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.