Beijing, Sep 29 : Japanese ace Naomi Osaka edged out Jessica Pegula of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (5) to advance to the second round at the 2019 China Open here on Sunday, while sixth-seeded Simona Halep took an easy win over Sweden's Rebecca Peterson to secure her place in the last 32.
Osaka, currently ranked world No 4 and seeded fourth in the competition, enjoyed a good start in the first set with more breaks than her opponent.In the next set, Osaka suffered 19 unforced errors but world No. 76 Pegula failed to convert her chance. Osaka won the tiebreak 7-5 after coming back from losing four consecutive points to seal the victory.
"I was very nervous today. Pegula played better in the second set. That was something that I had to get used to," Osaka said after the match. "At the same time I knew that she was capable of playing really well because she won DC."
Asked about her feeling of not being the world's top-ranked player, Naomi said, "for me No. 1 felt like a lot of responsibilities and pressure that came with that. At the same time that's the end goal.
You don't really play tournaments to be ranked No 4 or No 5. You play to be No 1 in the world. I think everyone wants that position."
Recovering from back injury, Wimbledon winner Halep of Romania saw off world No. 53 Peterson 6-1, 6-1.
Halep managed to save five break points and only let Peterson hold one serve in each set.(XINHUA)