Naomi Osaka on course for Swiatek clash after digging deep to win opener at Roland Garros

Japanese star beats Bronzetti in three sets and will face World No 1 if Polish player gets through her first-round match

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Naomi Osaka reached the French Open second round for the first time in three years with a gritty victory over Italy's Lucia Bronzetti on Sunday, setting up a potential clash against world No 1 Iga Swiatek.

Osaka, who took a 16-month break from tennis in September 2022 to start a family, blew hot and cold in the first match on Court Philippe Chatrier of the 2024 tournament but persevered to secure a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win.

She will next face her fellow four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek – if the Pole sees off Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

The pair have only played each other twice before, with their last meeting being a Swiatek victory in the 2022 Miami Open final.

Sunday was Osaka's first win in a Grand Slam match since the 2022 Australian Open, after losing in the French Open and US Open opening rounds that year and at Melbourne Park earlier this season.

The Japanese star has never reached the second week at Roland Garros, with all of her major titles coming on the hard courts of Melbourne and New York.

She also withdrew from the tournament in 2021 to protect her mental health after being fined for opting out of mandatory media commitments.

Osaka, who is currently the world number 134 as she steadily makes her way back up the rankings, was in fine form early on against Bronzetti, wrapping up a dominant first set after just 26 minutes with an ace.

She did not face a break point until she dropped serve in the 10th game of the second set as the match went into a decider.

The former world No 1 quickly regained control, reeling off the first four games of the third.

But Osaka missed a break point for a 5-0 lead and then fell apart as Bronzetti powered back, recovering the two breaks and moving 5-4 ahead.

The 26-year-old Osaka managed to gather herself, though, breaking again in the 11th game before taking her first match point when Bronzetti netted a forehand.

Elsewhere, Carlos Alcaraz dispelled injury fears as he eased past JJ Wolf and into the second round.

The Spanish world No 3 had been a doubt for Roland Garros after he pulled out of the Italian Open with an issue with his forearm.

But the two-time major winner dropped just four games against American Wolf. Wearing a protective sleeve on his right arm, the 21-year-old Wimbledon champion hit five aces and 27 winners in a convincing 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.

He said: “I’m really happy to be back here in Paris to compete again, it’s been a very difficult month for me because I love competing.

“I’ve tried everything I could to be at 100 per cent here at Roland Garros to show my best tennis, and I think I did that today.

“I would have loved to have played more matches but I don’t need too many matches to get to 100 per cent. I did really good preparation this past two weeks and practices with top players. My forearm is getting better and better.”

Updated: May 26, 2024, 2:47 PM