Osaka, Serena hope to return to Roland Garros comfort zone

Japan's Naomi Osaka serves against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris Thursday

Credit AP

In the end, Naomi Osaka eluded a stunning defeat at the hands of Victoria Azarenka, advancing to the third round with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory. "It was an unfortunate second round but I am happy that I won", said Osaka who fired 52 winners to Azarenka's 12.

Title holder Simona Halep also made life hard for herself before beating Poland's Magda Linette 6-4 5-7 6-3 to reach the third round.

Serena Williams of the US screams after scoring a point against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russian Federation during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 27, 2019.

After Williams showed fight by going from 3-1 down to 4-3 ahead in the second set, Kenin hung in there.

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Osaka was trying to become the first woman to win three consecutive major trophies since Williams grabbed four in a row in 2014-15, a run that was preceded by a second-round loss at Roland Garros and a third-round loss at Wimbledon. "I'm playing, and all's good". So when I came back and saw she wasn't back, I just had a little bit of time to calm down and think about what I really wanted to do during the set.

Williams is trying again to match Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slam titles having fallen twice in finals a year ago on her comeback from maternity leave. "She deserves to be where she is - she is very powerful and explosive". It was the seventh break point Azarenka had faced in the set, and the first she had failed to save. That kind of just relaxed me.

Osaka takes on the unseeded Katerina Siniakova in round three on Saturday.

The Japanese tennis player is in pursuit of winning her third successive Grand Slam title. Siniakova owns four career Top 10 wins, including over Simona Halep in the second round of Shenzhen in 2017 and Caroline Wozniacki in the 2017 Bastad final, but an upset of Osaka would be her first Top 3 win. "Like, I know she went to the semis here before, so obviously she has a lot more experience here". She again did the same thing in the second round - losing the first set before winning in three - but she eventually ousted Victoria Azarenka.

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He had to save two set points in the fourth set to avoid a decider and was relieved to win 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-3 7-5.

Tenth seed Serena Williams eased into round three with a 6-3 6-2 victory against Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara and eighth seed Ashleigh Barty from Australia had a comfortable 7-5 6-1 triumph against American Danielle Collins.

No. 5 Alexander Zverev swept Swede Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in a match that took half the time as his first-round five-setter. It doesn't make you a better or worse player.

Roland Garros's iconic "Bullring" court will be reduced to rubble after this year's championships are over but French wildcard Antoine Hoang can at least look back one day and say he helped write the final chapter on its red dust.

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