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Naomi Osaka bounced from 1st round at Abu Dhabi

Coming back from a 15-month hiatus is proving tough for Naomi Osaka.

2021 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins handily defeated the four-time grand slam champion 7-5 6-0 in the first round at Abu Dhabi, reported Sports24 News.

Because of her long absence from the court, Osaka is currently the 759th ranked player in the world. Seedings are meant to avoid having topped ranked players facing off in opening or early rounds.

That means Osaka must face tough competition from the beginning.

Tennis World reports she started out strong against Collins, playing her even the first ten games 5-5. But then Collins went on a tear, winning the last nine games and slamming the door on Osaka.

Collins complimented Osaka’s play during a post-match news conference.

“I know she’s still only a couple of matches into her comeback. But I think she’s playing well,” said Collins who is currently ranked 71st.

“She played a good first set and was serving very well and doing some really great things out on court. I’m sure at this point it’s just kind of regaining confidence and getting more matches under her belt and getting back into the routine of tournaments and that stuff, which can be challenging. But I thought she played well overall,” she told Supersport.

Since returning, Osaka won a first round match against Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch 6-3, 7-6 at the Brisbane Open before losing to Karolina Plíšková in the second round  3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

Then at the Australia Open, she lost to 16th seed Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6.

Abu Dhabi was just her third tournament since she returned.

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