Osaka rallies after tantrum to reach third round, Barty bounces out Hercog in Melbourne

MELBOURNE Defending champion Naomi Osaka struggled on serve and produced one of the most animated tantrums of the tournament so far before fending off China’s Zheng Saisai to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

After being broken early in the second set, Japan’s Osaka threw her racket, slammed a ball into the court and gave her racket a kick for good measure before steadying the ship and earning a 6-2 6-4 win at Margaret Court Arena.

Osaka rallied from 4-2 down in the second set and clinched the win when the outgunned Zheng double-faulted on match point.

She will next meet the winner of the match between Coco Gauff and Sorana Cirstea for a place in the fourth round.

World number one Ash Barty eased into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-4 win over Polona Hercog on a blustery Rod Laver Arena.

The Australian had given her compatriots a scare by losing her first set of the tournament on Monday but there were no such nerves on the main showcourt on day three of the championships as Barty raced through the first set in 24 minutes.

Hercog caused the French Open champion a few problems on her serve with her rangy returns but Barty saved all six break points she faced and sealed the win when the Slovenian was unable to keep a backhand return in the court.

The top seed will play Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen or Kazakh Elena Rybakina in the third round as she looks to stay on course to become the first homegrown champion at the Australian Open since 1978.


Reuters

1579659245809 - Osaka rallies after tantrum to reach third round, Barty bounces out Hercog in Melbourne

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