Justifies her highest ranking among the qualifiers
Japan’s Risa Osaki has reached the BMW Malaysian Open main draw in her second attempt.
The 21-year-old, who lost in the first round of qualifying last year, made amends when she beat Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the second round of qualifying at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) in Bukit Kiara this afternoon.
After winning the first set with relative ease, the world No.129 Risa found herself trailing 3-0 and then 5-2 in the second set.
But Risa justified her position as the highest ranked player in the qualifying field when she broke her opponent’s serves twice to claim four straight points and went 6-5 ahead under the sweltering heat.
Risa however could not wrap up the match, as Katarzyna, the world No.248,fought back to make it all square. But Risa proved to be the better player of the day, racing to 6-3 lead in the tie break before sealing her victory 7-4.
“It was really tough out there. It’s very hot and humid out here. I’m from Japan where the weather is much cooler, so it’s not easy to play in this kind of weather,” said Risa, whose best performance on the WTA Tour was in Suzhou, China in 2013, where she reached the last eight.
“But I’ve prepared well for this tournament and I’m in good condition.
“My opponent played very well in the second set. I’m really happy to manage a straight-set win for otherwise it would have been really tough in the decider.”
Having secured her first main draw appearance of the season, Risa is hoping to make the most of it.
Risa is bidding to break into the top 100 on the world ranking in the next two months so that she could get into the main draw of the remaining Grand Slam tournaments this season.
“I hope to go far in Kuala Lumpur as I am hoping to collect as many ranking points as possible to boost my chance to qualify for the Grand Slam main draw,” said Risa.
Risa will be joined by Chinese pair Zhu Lin and Yang Zhaoxuan and Czech’s Barbora Krejcikova in the tournament proper. Two more places are up for grabs for the main draw and the matches are ongoing.