World No. 1 Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, in highly-anticipated meeting to reach the third round of the French Open.
Osaka was down a set before cleaning up to deliver an impressive comeback victory in two hours and 50 minutes.
Naomi Osaka is chasing her 3rd successive Grand Slam title. Having won the 2018 US Open and the Australian Open earlier this year.
She will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari or Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova in the next round.
She said, “I was lucky enough to play her (Azarenka) twice before this and I knew she was playing really well. It was unfortunate that this was a second-round match but I am happy I won.”
When asked if she is as calm on the inside as she looks on court, she replied, “No. I choked on this side and almost choked on the other side. I am very emotional.”
Two-time Australian Open champion, Azarenka has been getting closer to her best form having finally returned full-time to the tour last spring. Following a bruising custody battle over her toddler son.
She endured an Osaka counter to take the opening set. With the pair trading ferocious groundstrokes, and then opened up a 4-2 lead in the second.
But, Osaka has established a reputation as one of the toughest players mentally and she fought her way back into the match before losing out to a 5-1 lead in the decider.
Azarenka put up more resistance at the end but ultimately Osaka was just too strong.