Osaka, Halep Open 2022 Play At WTA Melbourne
by Staff | January 3rd, 2022, 1:42 pm
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Former No. 1s and Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep will open their 2022 campaigns in the Melbourne 1 Summer Set event.

Osaka makes her first appearance since her stunning US Open loss to Leylah Fernandez.

Currently ranked No. 13, the 24-year-old Osaka is the top seed at the warm-up event. She opens against the tricky Alize Cornet, then meet the hard-hitting Liudmilla Samsonova in the quarters with a projected meeting with Kudermetova or Siniakova in the semifinals.

Osaka took a break from tennis following New York, but apparently has her mind right again.

Halep is in the bottom half with potentially Golubic in the quarters and maybe Riske in the semifinals.

The Romanian comes into 2022 after a clean break from longtime coach Darren Cahill.

“I thought about it being close to the end, but honestly after this pre-season and how I feel right now at the tournament, I feel like I have a few more years to play,” she said to the WTA.

“My husband is supporting me in that direction, my family as well. My team says I’m still good enough to go there and compete, so I’m not thinking about retirement yet. I just want to enjoy and give my best because I know there is another chance.”

In the concurrent Melbourne 2 tournament, Jessica Pegula is the top seed followed by Elise Mertens, Daria Kasatkina, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Sorona Cirstea.

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