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'Refreshed' Osaka wins on return, Barty shocked in first round in Tokyo, Andy Murray withdraws from men's singles

World number one Barty was beaten by Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Ash Barty in action in Tokyo.
Ash Barty in action in Tokyo.
Image: AAP/PA Images

Updated Jul 25th 2021, 7:42 AM

JAPAN’S NAOMI OSAKA won in straight sets on her highly-anticipated return to court at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, while world number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out in the first round.

Osaka, the star of the opening ceremony, defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-4 in her first match since taking an eight-week break for mental health reasons.

“I feel like more than anything I’m just focused on playing tennis. Playing the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Osaka, chosen as the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday.

“I feel like the break that I took was very needed, but I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again.”

World bomber one Ashleigh Barty crashed out of the Olympic women’s singles tennis tournament in the opening round on Sunday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in Tokyo.

Barty, the reigning Wimbledon champion, dropped serve twice in each set as 48th-ranked Sorribes Tormo made just five unforced errors to the Australian’s 27 to earn a shock win.

Elsewhere, two-time defending Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray withdrew Sunday from the men’s singles tournament due to a muscle injury, Team GB said in a statement.

Murray, 34, will stay in Tokyo to play doubles with Joe Salisbury. The pair won their opening match of the competition on Saturday.

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“I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events, so I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe,” Murray said in a statement.

“The decision follows consultation with medical staff in relation to a quad strain.”

Updated at 07.42 with details of Osaka’s match

© – AFP, 2021

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