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Superstitious Naomi Osaka walks the walk in Australian Open win, just wouldn’t walk on on-court signage

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Defending champion Naomi Osaka did not want luck to win her opening-round match over Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 on the Australian Open on Monday. However that did not cease her from making an attempt to create some.

In an act of superstition that may certainly make Rafael Nadal proud, Osaka took nice lengths, actually and figuratively, to keep away from stepping on the “Melbourne” signage on the court docket. All through the match, she was seen hopping over it and even redoing her steps if she had by chance, ever-so-slightly touched it.

“Each time I’ve come right here, I actually do not like stepping on the traces or the Melbourne brand within the again,” Osaka instructed reporters after the victory. “I am not likely positive why that developed. I might say that the majority athletes have very sturdy superstitions. It could possibly be one factor, it could possibly be two issues. For me it is undoubtedly the traces and the emblem.”

Taking part in in simply her second match since tearfully exiting the US Open in September following a third-round loss to Leylah Fernandez, and asserting she was going to “take a break from enjoying for some time,” Osaka jumped out to a 3-0 lead in simply seven minutes within the first set. Osorio, the 2019 US Open junior champion, ultimately discovered her rhythm and made the match aggressive, however Osaka’s victory was hardly unsure. Osaka, the four-time main winner, recorded 19 winners (to Osorio’s 5) and had an 83% win share on first serve.

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Naomi Osaka defeats Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 on day one of many Australian Open to advance to the subsequent spherical.

Nonetheless, she did not need to depart something to likelihood on the court docket and later defined avoiding contact with the signal and the traces weren’t the one issues she wanted to do with a view to really feel her finest at Rod Laver Area.

“I would like my water bottles to be fully straight,” Osaka mentioned. “I am unsure why that’s.”

Osaka will subsequent tackle American Madison Brengle within the second spherical on Wednesday.

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