Naomi Osaka returned to the courts after a two-month absence and she did not miss a beat while not playing. The first point she played was an ace down the T line and it was a sign of things to come. Osaka quickly established dominance over rallies finish most of them with a winner.
Zheng was shell-shocked and only won her first game very late in the set avoiding a bagel. Osaka won the set with 6-1 and proceeded to play well in the 2nd. This time around Zheng offered more resistance but it did not matter much. Osaka broke her and took the 3-1 lead.
Zheng did better overall and she was able to carve out some break points but every time Osaka saved them. She served great all match long and the slower court suited her rather well as she had time to unleash all of her force from the baseline.
Osaka did not force the issue too much in the 2nd set focusing on holding her lead. It worked and she closed it out with 6-4 in the 2nd. A good start for Osaka after the absence and with Barty now out of the event she becomes the clear favourite to win it all.