Wimbledon 2024: Osaka’s dream return to the grass

London, ENGLAND Team Yonex star Naomi Osaka (JPN) made a “dream” return to the Wimbledon grass, winning her opening-round match on her first appearance in five years.


Just walking around the All England Club the other day, the Japanese wild card had felt “very starry-eyed”, and actually competing on the lawns again was “like a dream”. Osaka’s heart was “racing a lot”, she told the crowd on No. 2 Court after a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Frenchwoman Diane Parry which gave her the first victory at Wimbledon in six years. Osaka, who has two US Open titles along with a pair of Australian Open titles, is attempting to reach the second week of The Championships for the first time. One of her goals since returning from maternity leave is to become a stronger grass-court player and some here in south-west London believe she has the game to contend for the Venus Rosewater Dish. 


Global stars are choosing Yonex

Amongst the buzz in London there are 68 players from Team Yonex, with 27 men and 41 women making it the second most-used racquet at Wimbledon this year.


Rybakina looking to make history again

Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina (KAZ) was among the Team Yonex stars who advanced into the second round at the third major of the year. The head-to-toe Yonex ambassador, who in 2022 took the women’s singles title here to become the first player from Kazakhstan to land a Grand Slam, was a 6-3, 6-1 winner against qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse. Rybakina is looking to land a second major singles title.


Tiafoe, Hurkacz and Shelton all fight back 

In a remarkable turnaround on the grass which showed his desire and fighting spirit, Frances Tiafoe (USA) came back from two sets to love down to win his opening-round match in the men’s singles against Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. It was the first time that the American, a former US Open semi-finalist, had managed to win a match from that position. Head-to-toe ambassador Hubert Hurkacz (POL), a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, also fought back on his first appearance at this summer’s tournament, coming from a set down for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over qualifier Radu Albot. Ben Shelton (USA), who had been two sets to one down, raised his level to win 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Mattia Bellucci.


Ruud grows in confidence

Every match Casper Ruud (NOR) wins on the Wimbledon grass, the head-to-toe Yonex ambassador feels as though he becomes more confident on the surface. The Norwegian, who has played in two Roland-Garros finals and one US Open final, advanced into the second round of the men’s singles with a 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 victory over qualifier Alex Bolt. Ruud is attempting to make the third round for the first time.


Wawrinka’s love of tennis

At the age of 39, Stan Wawrinka (SUI) is the oldest player in the men’s singles this summer. The Swiss, who has won every Grand Slam title apart from Wimbledon, says he has no intention of stopping playing the sport that he loves any time soon and he went through with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over wild card Charles Broom.


Shapovalov looking to go deep again in London

With his attacking game, Denis Shapovalov (CAN) is always a threat on the Wimbledon grass. A former champion in the boys’ singles at the All England Club, and a past semi-finalist in the men’s singles, the Canadian left-hander showed his class on the surface with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 19 seed Nicolas Jarry.