Naomi Osaka of Japan
Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus during Day 5 of the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 14, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Image Credit: AFP

Cincinnati: Japan’s world No. 1 Naomi Osaka triumphed over Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 to reach the third round of Cincinnati Masters. Australian No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty also breezed to a straight set victory over Russian ace Maria Sharapova.

The 22-year-old Osaka fired 24 winners, winning a narrow victory against her Belarussian opponent, whom she crushed 6-0, 6-0 at the US Open 11 months ago.

“It’s the first match I have ever won here in the main draw, so I can’t be too hard on myself, even though I naturally am,” Osaka said. “I think that’s something that I learn as I play more matches. Hopefully I’ll have that opportunity.”

This two-time Grand Slam champion will face Hsieh Su-Wei from Chinese Taipei in the next round, who beat Jennifer Brady 7-6, 6-3.