Naomi Osaka continued her strong start to the Tokyo Olympics tennis tournament on Monday, winning her second-round match against Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic in straight sets.
On a noticeably cooler day in the Tokyo capital, Osaka put on a determined show, breaking her opponent's serve once in the first set and twice in the second as she rolled past the world No. 49 6-3, 6-2 at Ariake Tennis Park.
Osaka is now the top-ranked player competing in Tokyo after world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty suffered a shocking first-round defeat on Sunday.
But Osaka said she is trying to concentrate on each match as it comes, instead of the gold medal.
"I know that I'm playing against the best players in the world and I haven't played in a while, so of course I want to win the gold medal like everyone in the tournament does, but I'm taking it one match at a time," Osaka said.
"Definitely, it would mean a lot for me to win here, but I know it's a process," she said. "All in all, I'm just really happy to be here, and I haven't been in Tokyo" in a while.
Her third-round opponent will be Czech Marketa Vondrousova after she defeated Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-2 later on Monday.
In her first meeting with Golubic, Osaka controlled the match and kept her focus for the entire 65 minutes, but Golubic, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist earlier in the month, also threatened with her powerful groundstrokes and tactical slices.
Osaka and Golubic both held serve until the Japanese former world No. 1 converted the first break point of the match to go up 5-3 in the first set, hitting a powerful forehand winner that the Swiss had no answer to.
Golubic battled back to deuce on Osaka's serve in the following game, but the four-time Grand Slam champ closed out the set.
The second set was a more one-sided affair, with Osaka winning the first four games and cruising past Golubic, whose errors piled up as she grew tired.
Having lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony on Friday evening, Osaka has undoubtedly become the face of these games — the first Summer Olympics held in Tokyo in more than 50 years.
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