Osaka wins on first Wimbledon appearance since 2019

Naomi Osaka raises her racquet to the crowd after winning her first-round match at Wimbledon
Naomi Osaka is making her fourth appearance in the main draw at Wimbledon [Reuters]

Naomi Osaka said it "feels like a dream" as she made a winning return on her first appearance at Wimbledon for five years.

The four-time Grand Slam champion came through 6-1 1-6 6-4 against Diane Parry on court two.

Japan's Osaka returned to the tour in 2024 after giving birth to her first child, daughter Shai, a year ago.

The 26-year-old, who is now ranked 113rd in the world, was injured in 2022 and also missed the 2021 tournament while taking time off to deal with mental health issues.

Competing as a wildcard, Osaka raced through the opening set in just 22 minutes, firing a series of winners past French 21-year-old Parry.

Her level dropped in the second set, though, as Parry quickly levelled and the world number 53 twice went a break up in the deciding set.

But Osaka, who has never been beyond the third round at SW19, fought back and three double faults in the final game from Parry proved her downfall.

"I'm really excited to be here and it's funny, Wimbledon was the first tournament I watched after pregnancy and my daughter's turning one tomorrow so, I'm really glad to still be here," said Osaka.

"I wish I could say I enjoyed it all the time but my heart was racing a lot. But, you know, I feel like these are the type of matches that you kind of have to play just in order to ease into the tournament."

'Emotional' Gauff sails into second round

Coco Gauff celebrates
Gauff's best performance at Wimbledon was a run to the fourth round in 2019 and 2021 [Getty Images]

In the final match on Centre Court, Coco Gauff breezed into the second round with a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over fellow American Caroline Dolehide.

Exactly five years ago, a 15-year-old Gauff - ranked 313th at the time - inflicted a famous Wimbledon defeat on five-time champion Venus Williams on Court One.

Now she comes into the tournament as the world number two and reigning US Open champion.

"Obviously Wimbledon is the place where, I wouldn't say the dream started, but where I believed the dream was possible," said Gauff.

"I've played on a lot of big courts, but every time I play here is the most nervous I ever feel playing tennis - even more than playing a Grand Slam final."

After a shock first-round exit last year, Gauff was keen to avoid the same fate again and asserted control from the offset, breaking Dolehide's serve three times in the opening set.

And there were no signs of the 20-year-old slowing down as she wrapped up the convincing win in 64 minutes to set up a second-round meeting with Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni.

"Last year I lost first round here, it was a very tough moment for me so I'm a little bit emotional because it's been a long year - but it's incredible how I have been able to turn it around," added Gauff.

Elsewhere, French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini, ninth seed Maria Sakkari and Eastbourne champion Daria Kasatkina were among the early first-round winners.

But there was a shock loss for Chinese eighth seed Zheng Qinwen.

Australian Open runner-up Zheng lost 4-6 6-2 6-4 to New Zealand's Lulu Sun, who came through qualifying to make her debut in the Wimbledon main draw.

Seventh seed Paolini, who lost to world number one Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros last month, had gone out in the first round on her three previous visits to SW19.

However, the 28-year-old Italian was a comfortable 7-5 6-3 winner over Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Sakkari defeated world number 119 McCartney Kessler of the United States 6-3 6-1 on court 12.

It was a welcome victory for the world number nine from Greece, who had been knocked out in the first round on five of her six previous Grand Slam singles appearances.

The 28-year-old said: "I've been struggling a little bit in Grand Slams in the last couple of tournaments, you know, with first-round losses. So that was in my mind.

"But I feel like today I was brave and strong enough to just overcome that fear."

Russian 14th seed Kasatkina dropped only three games in a 6-3 6-0 win over Zhang Shuai of China and faces Britain's Lily Miyazaki in the second round.

But third seed Aryna Sabalenka - who was also due to play on Monday - pulled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.