US Open 2021: Naomi Osaka beats Marie Bouzkova after dominant 2nd set

The 2020 champion is one step closer to defending her title. Naomi Osaka, in her first Grand Slam appearance since the first round of the French Open, defeated Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. 

Osaka, who wore a New York Liberty "Equality" jersey during her pregame warmup, wasn't at her tip-top best after playing very little over the past few months. But as the match wore on she looked more and more like herself. Her footwork got quicker, her serve got better and her forehand looked fantastic. 

Bouzkova was a worthy opponent. Coming into this match, she'd lost in the first round of the nine main draws she'd been in, but she didn't play like it Monday night. Bouzkova was daring, standing close to the baseline and taking the full brunt of Osaka's tremendous first serve. She elevated her game to face Osaka, and stayed with her throughout the first set.

Then Osaka's game began to really come together. She got the first break point of the night on the point that won her the first set. 

After a first set battle, Osaka began to get even more confident while Bouzkova started struggling. Osaka had set a blistering pace, whipping the ball across the court. Her firepower had worn Bouzkova down. 

Osaka won seven games in a row, spanning the end of the first set and most of the second, before Bouzkova broke through and won a game. Osaka was dominating, but she opened the door just enough for Bouzkova to sneak through and get rid of that big zero on the scoreboard. 

On Monday night, Osaka was inevitable. With the crowd fully behind her, she took the match 93 minutes and is moving on to the second round.