Osaka relieved to go through
Naomi Osaka admits she got a bit lucky as the world number one booked her place in the second round of the Nature Valley Classic.
Osaka came through a tricky test against Greece's Maria Sakkari in Birmingham and was taken to three sets before eventually winning 6-1 4-6 6-4.
She found herself 0-40 on her serve at 2-2 in the final set but, after saving six break points in a near 10-minute game, finally held before going on to see out the match.
The Japanese is competing in Birmingham as she prepares for Wimbledon, and having already admitted to not being that comfortable on grass, it showed at times in the match.
"I was kind of screaming on the inside during that entire match," Osaka said. "I got lucky a little bit I guess. I knew she was going to be a very difficult opponent."
The 21-year-old will now face Yulia Putintseva next after the Kazakh beat British wildcard Harriet Dart.
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.