By Sportswriter Lincoln van der Westhuizen
BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- US Open champion Naomi Osaka got her China Open off to a winning start here in Beijing on Monday.
The No. 8 seed had a tough outing against Kazakh player Zarina Diyas but managed to win 6-4, 6-3. Osaka fired out 4 aces and 12 winners against 14 unforced errors, while Diyas had only 7 winners to 19 unforced errors.
The young Japanese star recognised that she did not deliver a complete performance.
"Well, I mean, I felt like today was pretty rough. I know that I didn't play that well, but I really wanted to win. I felt that she probably didn't play at her best, too. I think we were both just trying to struggle with how to manage the situation."
Osaka also spoke about the added scrutiny that comes with being a Grand Slam champion.
"Well, I mean, for me, I don't feel that different. I try not to put that burden on myself. I know when I play matches now, people want to beat me. I mean, I felt that way since Indian Wells. I think that helped me a lot, to win the US Open."
Looking forward into the tournament, Osaka is confident she can find a way to improve her game and play to her potential in Beijing.
"I feel like overall, like even during practices, I still haven't hit the ball cleanly, like I want to. That was a concern going into the match. Then I felt like I didn't serve well today at all. I think my first-serve percentage was probably ridiculously low...for sure that's one thing that I want to fix going onto my next match."
Osaka's next match is against the USA's Danielle Collins in the round of 32.