MELBOURNE, Australia – Defending champion Naomi Osaka threw her racket, tossed a ball and kicked the racket again for good measure before sitting with a towel over her head. She sensed the crowd was looking for drama, and she gave them a little bit.
Osaka pulled it together quickly in a swirling breeze on Margaret Court Arena and beat Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.
On the adjoining show court, 2019 runner-up Petra Kvitova held her composure when she faced three set points before winning 13 of the next 15 points to beat Paula Badosa 7-5, 7-5.
Both of last year's finalists had secured spots in the third round before some of the women had completed their first-round matches in the singles draw. A backlog caused by heavy rain on Day 1 caused a further spillover on Day 2.
On Day 3, the lineup on the show courts was full of major winners. French Open champion and No. 1-seeded Ash Barty defeated Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-4 on Rod Laver, the center court.
Osaka was unimpressed with her performance.
"I hope you guys like the tennis that's coming after my match," third-seeded Osaka told the crowd in an on-court interview, "because it wasn't that pretty."
She had her service broken three times, including the one in the second set that caused the minor tantrum.