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Osaka bounces back from tearful Indian Wells exit with Miami win

Naomi Osaka bounced back from her tearful exit in Indian Wells with a comfortable victory over Astra Sharma at the Miami Open.

The 24-year-old was reduced to tears during her second-round loss to Veronika Kudermetova at the BNP Paribas Masters in California earlier this month after being heckled by a spectator who reportedly shouted at her "Naomi, you suck".

Osaka, who missed parts of the 2021 season because of mental health issues, was jeered in the early part of the match and it was undoubtedly a major factor as she lost 6-0 6-4 to the world No 24. There were no such issues for the four-time grand slam champion in Miami against Australian world No 96 Sharma in a routine 6-3 6-4 first-round victory.

Playing in what she calls her home tournament, Osaka was in complete command right from the moment she stepped onto the Hard Rock Stadium court, never allowing Sharma a single break opportunity while keeping her 96th-ranked opponent under constant pressure, converting two of 11 break points.

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