Osaka Set To Climb Into World's Top 200 After Reaching Third Round Of Miami Open

Osaka Set To Climb Into World's Top 200 After Reaching Third Round Of Miami Open

by Nurein Ahmed

By virtue of reaching the third round of the 2024 Miami Open, Naomi Osaka is set to occupy her highest ranking since resuming her career following a maternity break.

Osaka scored her second Top 20 win of the season on Saturday, beating 15th seed Elina Svitolina 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 31 minutes. Osaka tallied five aces and won 71% of the first-serve points. The 26-year-old was equally impressive on the return, converting three of five break points.

The former Miami finalist has emulated her run in Indian Wells this past week, where she defeated a Top 20 player (Liudmila Samsonova) to reach the third round. Remarkably, she will face 23rd seed Caroline Garcia for the third time this season (head-to-head 2-1 in favor of Osaka).

Osaka began the 2024 season at her lowest ranking (No. 833) since 2013 when she was still a teenager competing on the junior circuit. Her ranking drop was due to her absence from the tour for 15 months.

The Japanese star shut down her 2022 season because of injury and then announced in January of the following year that she was pregnant. Osaka did not play a single minute last season and gave birth to a healthy baby daughter, Shai, in July 2023.

Shortly after, she hit the practice courts and revealed her intention to play a busy schedule in 2024. Osaka is entitled to enter a total of 12 WTA events within the next three years using a special ranking.

This is a provision that allows injured players or returning mothers to use their original ranking before their prolonged absence (a minimum period of six months). But she hasn't been required to cash in on this privilege most of the time because some WTA tournaments have offered her wild cards.

Osaka will re-enter the Top 200, settling at No. 191 in the live rankings. She could rise further in the standings, depending on how well she will do for the remainder of the tournament.


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