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Osaka ousts Kostyuk to set up Kasatkina clash

Naomi Osaka continued her winning return to Rome by seeing off Marta Kostyuk in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to set up a third-round…

Naomi Osaka continued her winning return to Rome by seeing off Marta Kostyuk in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to set up a third-round clash with 10th-seed Daria Kasatkina.

Japan’s Osaka beat Russian Kasatkina in the pair’s only other meeting, when Osaka won the 2018 Indian Wells final.

Osaka breezed past Kostyuk to claim her first ever win over a top 20-ranked opponent on clay, a day after she made her Foro Italico comeback after a three-year absence.

The former world number one is ranked 173 in the world after taking a break from the tour to have her first child but looked a class above Kostyuk, winning the rain-interrupted match in 71 minutes.

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