The former World No.1 was beaten in Monday night’s opening round of the Australian Open by No.16 seed Caroline Garcia of France, 6-4, 7-6(2).

Although this is the first time Osaka has lost an opening-round match in Melbourne, it was against an in-form Garcia, whose magnificent serving neutralised Osaka’s own crisp hitting and the Frenchwoman did not face a break point all match.

Garcia punished Osaka’s errors to break in the fifth game of the opening set and then, after an evenly contested second set, showed composure in the tie-break to seal a deserved victory.

It was Osaka’s first appearance at a Grand Slam since the 2022 US Open, and she ultimately fell short in a tightly-contested affair, with 16th seed Garcia coming up clutch in the important moments to seal her progression.

Osaka made her return in Brisbane a fortnight ago, beating Tamara Korpatsch before a narrow loss to Karolina Pliskova.

“The competitive in me is really frustrated that I’m not winning these matches, of course,” Osaka told a post-match news conference. “So I wouldn’t say, like, this comeback is how I thought because I’m delusional enough to think I could have won the tournament.”

She smiled at that point, and added: “I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments.”

Garcia will face Magdalena Frech next.

Meanwhile, Coco Gauff will play Caroline Dolehide in round two of the Australian Open after she beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to progress at the Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park.

The 19-year-old American, who won her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September, won 6-3 6-0 against Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

The second day of the Australian Open featured two epic games in the men’s singles with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jean-Lennard Struff ended up winning them. Auger-Aliassime beat 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in a five-setter that ended just a minute shy of the five-hour mark. Meanwhile Andy Murray said that this may have been his last Australian Opena after losing in the first round to Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek begin their Australian Open campaigns with tricky first-round ties on a stacked day three, which includes Emma Raducanu’s Grand Slam return after injury. Swiatek has a tricky opener against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin, while Alcaraz will face experienced Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper and Katie Boulter are also in action.

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