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Osaka survives huge first-round scare

Osaka survives huge first-round scare
Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 28, 2019. Japan's Naomi Osaka greets the crowd after winning her first round match against Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann   -   Copyright  CHRISTIAN HARTMANN(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – World number one and top seed Naomi Osaka flirted with an opening-round exit at the French Open on Tuesday but recovered from a first-set horror show to beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6 7-6(4) 6-1.

The 21-year-old Japanese player, aiming for a third successive Grand Slam title, was allowed only nine points in the first set against the world number 90 from Slovakia.

She then let a 3-0 lead slip in the second set before twice having to break her opponent’s serve to stay in the match.

Once she won the tiebreak, however, her game clicked back into gear and she breezed through the decider.

She will be allowed no such lapses in the second round, however, when she faces former world number one Victoria Azarenka.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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