Osaka turned a nightmare into a dream to reach the third round

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Written by Nick Mulviny

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Naomi Osaka dreamed of losing her second round match at the Australian Open tennis tournament, but the reality was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia on Wednesday.

Garcia was unable to score a single breaking point during the competition as the Japanese third seed put in a powerful performance with 10 aces on a quiet evening at the Road Laver Arena.

“To go into this match I was really nervous and had a really bad dream,” Osaka told reporters.

“For me, my dreams tell us a lot about the future. Like, I usually have dreams and come true. Last night I had a dream that I lost this match, and I wasn’t satisfied with it.”

France’s Garcia, who was ranked fourth in the world in the past but is now 43, could be a tough competition with her aggressive play helped her to six wins over the top five players.

Osaka said she had once kept it to herself, as she discussed the dream with her team and it helped her deal with the match.

She added, “I thought that I could not control what she would do, and that I could only control what I would do.”

“I also think that’s the reason I’m doing so well, because in theory serving is the only thing you can control in tennis.”

Osaka, whose press conference broke French Open champion Iga Sweetyk for a quick talk about the slippers, said she was duplicating a dream about tennis.

“I usually have this dream of hitting a rally with a backhand with someone, and a backhand hitting the net. And I wake up,” she said.

“The atmosphere is always very intense, like the rally is always very intense. I would say this is the most vivid dream like the dream associated with tennis that you always dreamed of.”

The US Open champion, whose last WTA defeat was to Coco Gove in the third round at Melbourne Park last year, will face Ons Jaber.

She smiled, “She’s really fun and cute and I think the game I’m playing against her is going to be really tough, but I’m looking forward to it.”

(Co-reporting by Melanie Burton, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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