Fixture: (13) Naomi Osaka vs Camila Osorio
Date: 17 January 2022.
Tournament: Australian Open 2022.
Round: First round (Round of 128).
Venue: Melbourne, Australia.
Category: Grand Slam.
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.
Match Timing: 12.30 p.m. local time, 1.30 a.m. GMT, 7 a.m. IST
Prize money: $75,000,000.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Liv
Naomi Osaka vs Camila Osorio preview
Defending champion Naomi Osaka will return to Grand Slam action at the 2022 Australian Open. She will take on rising star Camila Osorio in the first round on Monday.
The four-time Major champion was at her ruthless best in Melbourne last year, dropping just one set en route to the title. Osaka beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ons Jabeur, Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams and Jennifer Brady in what many believe was one of her most dominant runs at a Major.
But from then onwards, the Japanese's career has been on a downward spiral. At Roland Garros, Osaka revealed that she has suffered from depression since 2018, culminating in the 24-year-old abstaining from press conferences in Paris.
She was eventually fined by tournament organizers, which led to her pulling out of the event ahead of her second-round match. Osaka skipped Wimbledon and returned to action at the Tokyo Olympics, where she fared poorly.
The 24-year-old also suffered an early exit at the US Open, after which she claimed she no longer found happiness after winning matches.
After taking a long break from the sport, Naomi Osaka returned to action at the recently-concluded Melbourne Summer Set. However, an abdominal injury saw her pull out midway through the tournament.
Since her injury is not believed to be serious, she will likely regain full fitness ahead of her clash against Camila Osorio.
The Colombian is expected to make giant strides on the WTA tour in the coming seasons. The 20-year-old's game is far from well-rounded, but she packs a punch in baseline rallies.
The 2019 junior US Open champion clinched her maiden WTA title in 2021 (Copa Colsanitas) and also made the finals of the Tenerife Open. She exceeded expectations at Wimbledon, where she made the third round after navigating three qualifying rounds.
The World No. 53 will be making her Australian Open main-draw debut next week.
Naomi Osaka vs Camila Osorio head-to-head
The head-to-head between Naomi Osaka and Camila Osorio is tied at 0-0 since the two have never faced each other on tour.
Naomi Osaka vs Camila Osorio prediction
Naomi Osaka is the overwhelming favorite in this fixture, given the gulf in experience and quality between the two players. While Camila Osorio is a steady baseliner, she tends to cough up several unforced errors when put under pressure.
While much-improved in recent months, the Colombian's serve is still, by and large, a means to start the rally. On the other hand, Osaka has a lethal delivery and is unlikely to give the 20-year-old too many chances to break.
This could prove to be the difference on Monday, assuming Osaka regains her fitness by then.
Prediction: Osaka to win in straight sets.