Osaka Beats Kostyuk In Rome For First Career Top 20 Win On Clay

Osaka Beats Kostyuk In Rome For First Career Top 20 Win On Clay

by Zachary Wimer

Naomi Osaka had never beaten a Top 20-ranked player on clay before, and she earned the win against Marta Kostyuk at the 2024 Italian Open.

The Japanese player hasn't played much on clay throughout her career. She started playing more on the red dirt during her comeback, and it is quite interesting that she's quickly finding herself on the surface.

After playing badly in her first match on the surface this year, Osaka won her first match on it at the Madrid Open. She didn't win a second one, but she got it done in Rome.

First, she beat Clara Burel in two sets and then added a second-round win against Kostyuk. It's an interesting matchup on paper because the Ukrainian gave Osaka problems the last time they played.

The first set was quite interesting and it went to Osaka 6-3. Both players struggled on the serve, but the problem was particularly prominent for Kostyuk, who totaled five double faults in that opening set.

Both got broken, but the former world no. 1 was generally the more stable player in the rallies, so she was able to overcome the serving woes more easily.

The second set didn't bring anything different for Kostyuk, who didn't struggle with her serve as much but still couldn't really overcome Osaka, who was just too good from the baseline.

Osaka did struggle on her serve but still didn't really face any problems on the serve overall. Rain stopped play at 3-1 for Osaka in the second set, which was quite annoying for her because the Japanese player was basically 10 to 15 minutes away from finishing the match.

Osaka broke immediately upon resumption to take a 4-1 lead, and from there, it was a rather simple cruise to the finish line. The final score was 6-3 6-2, and Osaka hopes to continue playing really solid tennis moving forward.


You may also like