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Quadruple Grand Champion Naomi Osaka has won the first match she has played since May, beating Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Tuesday night at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Osaka hit 11 aces and saved 7 of 8 break points in the hard-court tournament that serves as the US Open tune-up.
Osaka hadn’t played anywhere since a first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova in the French Open where on May 23.
The old no. The 1-rated player was hampered by her left Achilles tendon in that loss, then cited the lingering injury as she retired from Wimbledon in June.
Osaka won the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020.
Next up for Osaka is Coco Gauff, who won her match 6-0, 6-1 over Anhelina Kalinina. Osaka leads their head-to-head streak 2-1, including a victory over Gauff at the 2019 US Open. Gauff was the runner-up at this year’s French Open.
Another former champion at Flushing Meadows, 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu, lost Tuesday in San Jose, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Shelby Rogers.
In other first-round action, qualifier Elizabeth Mandlik won her WTA debut, beating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-3, 6-3 and No. 9th seed Veronika Kudermetova beat Camila Giorgi 7-6 ( 2), 4-6, 7-5.