Having not won since defeating Tamara Korpatsch in the opening week of the 2024 season, the concerns were there for Naomi Osaka especially given that she was set to face Caroline Garcia again at the Qatar Open who defeated her at the Australian Open. But the former World No.1 had all the answers including answering adversity in her 7-5, 6-4 win.
It is her first top 30 win in almost two years and is a huge win for the confidence of the four-time Grand Slam champion. Next up gets a bit more simpler as she faces Petra Martic. Ons Jabeur could be next after that who faces Lesia Tsurenko. They sit in the same section as Iga Swiatek up at the top of the draw.
WTA TV GUIDE: How to watch 2024 Qatar Open featuring Iga SWIATEK, Coco GAUFF, Elena RYBAKINA and Emma RADUCANU
The adversity early on saw her come from 3-5 down against Garcia and potentially on the verge of losing the opening set. But she came down to claim it in 51 minutes. After going down at that point, she rallied to hold and then break to bring it back onto level terms with a dominant spell from the Japanese ace. She suddenly crept ahead at 6-5 after surviving two break points which proved vital.
A dominant break saw Garcia have no chance and went from Fly with Caro to a crash landing as Osaka took her first steps towards victory. In set two, it was a lot more dominant on both wings from the pair with only a break of serve to split them. Garcia had a break point at 2-2, but couldn't take it and Osaka held serve. But this was the only chance until match point.
Osaka went 30-15 up on Garcia's serve and on the first match point and only second break point opportunity overall all set, she claimed it 6-4 to seal the win.