Osaka struggled in the second set but battled back for a 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-1 win over Yanina Wickmayer.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — No. 1-ranked Naomi Osaka won her opening match Friday at the new site of the Miami Open by beating qualifier Yanina Wickmayer 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-1.
Osaka hit 14 aces and overcame a ragged stretch in the second set, when she became so frustrated she threw her racket. She regrouped and now has won 63 consecutive matches when she takes the first set.
”I had a bit of a dip,” Osaka said. ”It was really hard for me, I think, emotionally in the second set, because I just started thinking about winning, not exactly the things I could do in order to win.”
The tournament moved this year from Key Biscayne to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium complex, and Osaka took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. She found the mix of sun and shadows in the cavernous stadium a challenge.
”It’s a little bit tricky to get used to it,” she said. ”I think for me it got better as time went on. I found comfort in knowing she also was in the same conditions. It’s not something that I should really be complaining about.”
Defending men’s champion John Isner hit 20 aces, lost only 11 points on his serve and beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7).
No. 5-seeded Kei Nishikori was upset by Dusan Lajovic 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Lajovic improved to 3-14 against top-10 players.
No. 16 Gael Monfils, who has been hampered by an Achilles injury, withdrew before his opening match.
In other women’s play, Canadian 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu, who overcame a match point to win her opening match, reached the third round by beating No. 32 Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-3. Andreescu won her first career title last week at Indian Wells.
Three-time champion Venus Williams overcame a wobbly start to beat No. 24 Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 6-1.