• Kyodo

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Tournament debutante Saori Obata maintained her composure throughout and cruised past No. 24 seed Alexandra Stevenson of the U.S. 6-1, 6-3 at Wimbledon on Monday.

The 24-year Japanese, ranked 116th in the world, sealed her first Grand Slam victory at the All England Club’s grass court. Stevenson was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1999.

“My goal for this year was to pass the first round (at a Grand Slam event) so I’m very happy. It feels like I’ve finally won. I was a challenger here, so I was able to relax and play,” said Obata, who made her third appearance at a Grand Slam event.

Obata was eliminated in the first round in the Australian Open and the French Open earlier this year.

Obata will play against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in the next round.

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