Naomi Osaka of Japan began her Australian Open title defense with a commanding victory against Colombia’s Camila Osorio on day one in Melbourne.
Osaka, who won the title again in 2019, stormed to a 5-0 lead in the opening set before world number 50 Osorio rallied.
However, Osaka swiftly regained her composure and cruised to a 6-3 6-3 victory.
After a four-month hiatus at the end of last season to safeguard her mental health, the 24-year-old returns to the Grand Slam competition as the 13th seed.
“I thought I played pretty well given the circumstances,” said Osaka, who has won 23 of her past 24 matches in Melbourne.
“Overall I’m happy to be here and see everyone in the audience.
“I like the hot conditions but when I come here everyone is warm and welcoming. I’m sure that has a positive effect on me.”