(Reuters) – A look at the records of Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka before their second-round match at the French Open on Thursday (prefix number denotes seeding):
WTA Ranking: 1 (Highest ranking: 1)
Grand Slam titles: 2 (U.S. Open 2018, Australian Open 2019)
2018 French Open performance: Third round
Best French Open performance: Third round (2016, 2018)
A nervy Osaka flirted with a first-round exit on Monday as she recovered from an opening set bagel to beat Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
She became the first Asian player to claim the world number one ranking when she lifted the Australian Open title in January but has since struggled to live up to expectations.
Osaka arrived in Paris after far from ideal preparation, having pulled out of the Rome quarter-finals due to a hand injury, while an abdominal injury forced her out of Stuttgart last month.
WTA Ranking: 43 (Highest ranking: 1)
Grand Slam titles: 2 (Australian Open 2012, 2013)
2018 French Open performance: First round
Best French Open performance: Semi-final (2013)
Former world number one Azarenka claimed her first Roland Garros victory since 2015 by overcoming 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko in the opening round on Tuesday.
The Belarusian has made a successful return to the sport after the birth of her son, breaking back into the top 50 in February.
2018 Osaka d Azarenka 6-0 6-3 (Rome, clay)
2016 Azarenka d Osaka 6-1 6-1 (Australian Open, hard)
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis