Naomi Osaka bounces back from tearful Indian Wells exit with win in Miami

Naomi Osaka bounced back from her tearful exit in Indian Wells with a comfortable victory over Astra Sharma at the Miami Open.

Osaka was reduced to tears after being heckled during her second-round defeat by Veronika Kudermetova 10 days ago at the BNP Paribas Masters.

A spectator reportedly shouted “Naomi, you suck”, with Osaka complaining to the umpire. As she went to serve in the third game of the match she was visibly crying.

The Japanese player, who missed parts of the 2021 season because of mental health issues, was jeered in the early part of the match and it was undoubtedly a major factor as she lost 6-0 6-4 to the world number 24.

But there were no such issues for the four-time grand slam champion against Australian world number 96 Sharma in a routine 6-3 6-4 first-round victory.

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“For me I just didn’t want to let anything bother me,” Osaka said in her on-court interview.

“The last match I played was not the greatest memory for me. I just wanted to prove I could come back out here and compete and have the best attitude I could.”

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