Highlights from Paris: New Kastle Naomi Osaka Glides Into Third Round of 2018 French OpenMay 31, 2018
Osaka Reaches Career-High #20 in the World
The Williams Sisters Are Back!
New Kastle Nicole Melichar Fights on in Women's & Mixed Doubles Action
The Kastles two biggest women's stars are putting on an impressive act in Paris, where the 2018 French Open Championships are now in full swing.
Leading the way as the tournament approaches the half-mark is new Kastle Naomi Osaka, who has shown no mercy to her opponents in the opening two rounds of the singles competition. The 20-year-old Japanese #1 advanced to the third round without losing a set, tying her career best record at Roland Garros.
In the first round, she knocked out junior rival Sofia Kenin, 6-2, 7-5, coming back from a 5-1 deficit in the second set to win the next six games in a row and claim the set and match. The match propelled Osaka up the WTA ranking ladder to #20 in the world!
Osaka brought the same lack-of-mercy confidence into her second match. The new Kastle defeated Zarina Diyas by an equally dominant score, 6-4, 7-5, to come within eyesight of week two of the Championships.
Osaka's win against Diyas marks the seventh time that Osaka has advanced to the third round (or better) in the nine Grand Slam main draw appearances that she has made.
To make the second week of the tournament, Osaka will have to get past current world #13 and 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys. They play today on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
In the third round Osaka will encounter world #13 and 2017 US Open finalist, Madison Keys. The pair have met twice before in the two years leading up to the peak of Osaka's career. The outcome went in favor of Keys both times. In 2016 Osaka took the American to a three set match, ultimately falling in a tiebreaker at the US Open and most recently in 2017 at Indian Wells, the year before Osaka claimed the title.
Should the Kastle win her battle against Keys, she would most likely face Elina Svitolina, the Ukrainian who has earned the ranking of world #4. If she meets Svitolina, she knows what she will face. The two have met five times, once in 2014, twice in 2016, and twice thus far in 2018. Osaka holds a 2-3 record against the Ukrainian and will plan to even that score if they meet again.
Watch Naomi as she continues her fight to the final in Paris on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus!
And get your season tickets to the 2018 Kastles season and SEE OSAKA LIVE AT KASTLES STADIUM JULY 28!
Venus & Serena Refuse to Surrender
In women's doubles, the sight of two-time French Open champions and Kastles icons Venus and Serena Williams reuniting in Paris drew untold eyes and cameras. The superstar sisters played their first tour match together since capturing their 14th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, almost two years ago, and won!
Because of their lack of ranking points, the Williams sisters were unseeded wildcards, a joke to most tennis observers. Two women who were not laughing were Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato, who labored hard to earn their #14 seed, only to draw the most lethal doubles team, perhaps in history.
The Japanese challengers took the opportunity to give it everything they had. They hit Venus and Serena hard and even managed to take the first set. But then the Williams Sisters woke up. At 3-all in the second set, they went on streak, winning 9 of the last 11 games to secure the win 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
WATCH: Venus and Serena take center stage at Roland Garros | ESPN.com
The pair will move into the next round to face Sara Errani Kirsten Flipkens (a former WTT all-star).
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New Kastle Nicole Melichar Fights on in Women's Doubles AND Mixed Doubles Action!
New Kastle Nicole Melichar paired back up with Kveta Peschke for the French Open after winning the Prague Open earlier in the season. The duo, now ranked 7th in the WTA Porsche Race to Singapore, are the #13 seeds in the tournament. They won a tough opener against Christina McHale and Shuai Peng, who managed to score a set, before folding in the deciding tiebreak, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3).
In her downtime, Melichar hopped into mixed action with Alexander Peya. Again, she and her partner split sets, but came through in a third set breaker to top France's own, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo and Ugo Humbert.
Next up for Melichar is another match alongside Peschke. The two will face off against Slovakian duo Magdalena Rybarikova and Viktoria Kuzmova.
For the most up to date match times and the latest Kastles news, follow us on Twitter @washkastles #refusetolose