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World number one Naomi Osaka survived an early exit to her bid for a third straight Grand Slam title with an incredible come back from behind to reach the French Open second round.

naomi osaka

Osaka had to stop Slovakian tennis star, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova twice serving out the match before winning 0-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The 21-year-old Japanese faces two-time Grand Slam champion, Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

Schmiedlova ranked 90th in the world, made very few errors until victory was in sight, but the pressure of a career-best win told as Osaka fought back.

US Open and Australian Open champion Osaka is playing in her first Grand Slam as the top seed.

Osaka’s body language steadily improved, along with her ball striking, and she dropped only six more points to take the final five games.

Elsewhere, defending champion Simona Halep struggled in a 6-2 3-6 6-1 win over world number 47 Ajla Tomljanovic.

Both Osaka and Halep were playing on Philippe Chatrier, the main court at Roland Garros, and both wobbled against low-ranked opponents.

Halep, 27, is hoping to become the first player to defend the women’s singles title since Belgian Justine Henin achieved the feat in 2007.

She faces Polish world number 87 Magda Linette in the second round.

Meanwhile Azarenka, 29, beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

By Olukayode Oniwinde

Read also: Angelique Kerber Suffers Shocking Loss To Anastasia Potapova

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