Naomi Osaka continued her dominant progress at the Olympic Tennis Event with victory over Swiss Viktorija Golubic on Monday.
The Japanese world No.2 hit her way to a 6-3 6-2 win over the recent Wimbledon quarterfinalist to book her place in the last 16.
There she was joined by Spain’s Garbine Muguruza and reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic.
But most dominant of all was Roland Garros finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; the Russian thumped German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-1 6-1 and has dropped a total of just three games in reaching the third round.
Other early winners on Monday were Greek Maria Sakkari, Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who followed up her upset of 11th seed Jennifer Brady with a 6-3 6-1 triumph over Russian veteran Elena Vesnina.
Seventh seed Muguruza overwhelmed China’s Wang Qiang 6-3 6-0 to set up a potential third-round clash with Petra Kvitova, who faces Alison Van Uytvanck later in the day.
Krejcikova, meanwhile, has now won 22 of her past 23 matches – and her last seven in a row – after easing past Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez 6-2 6-4.
Krejcikova, who blasted 21 winners to Fernandez’ eight, is now the highest seed in the top quarter of the women’s draw, which was blown open yesterday thanks to Sara Sorribes Tormo’s shock win over world No.1 Ash Barty.
Barty’s loss also means Osaka is the highest-ranked player remaining in the women’s singles event in Tokyo.
Osaka was almost flawless in dismantling Golubic on Centre Court at Ariake Tennis Park; she struck 29 winners while making just 11 unforced errors and won more than 80 per cent on points when she landed her first serve.
Behind a viciously-swinging serve down the T, she swiped a final off-forehand winner to terminate the contest after just 65 minutes.
Osaka has quickly found from despite a near two-month absence from the sport, dropping just 10 games en route to the third round and improving her season win-loss record to 16-5.
She will play either Marketa Vondrousova or Mihaela Buzarnescu for a quarterfinal berth.
More to follow…