Naomi Osaka stood strong to overcome unseeded Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the last 16 of the Madrid Open on Tuesday.
The world number one was joined by Simona Halep but Angelique Kerber’s tournament was ended by an ankle injury.
Concise News understands that Osaka was taken to a tiebreak in the first set by the 73rd-ranked Tormo, and then lost the second before overpowering her opponent for a 7-6(5) 3-6 6-0 win.
Playing in her first tournament since being forced to withdraw from the Stuttgart semi-finals last month due to injury, the Australian and U.S. Open champion struggled for consistency.
“This match was on my racket because she (Sorribes Tormo) doesn’t really have the game,” Osaka told a news conference.
“She wasn’t going for winners and I felt either the point was ended by me making an unforced error or me making a winner.
“I feel like in the first set, I got a bit lucky there. In the second set I got a little bit unfocused and then in the third set.
” I went zombie mode and then just thought of everything that I had to do to win.”