Naomi Osaka sadly ended a four-game losing streak in Tokyo when her opponent Daria Saville retired injured in only the second game of the match.
The Aussie’s career has been blighted by injuries, including long-term knee and Achilles issues, and it was only this year that she returned to the top 100.
Saville cried out in pain after playing a short forehand and collapsed on the court in distress, clutching his left knee. She was able to start again but did not risk to continue, shaking hands with Osaka after just 11 points.
Osaka has had its own injury troubles this year with Achilles and back issues and the former world number one hadn’t won a match since the start of August.
She will face Brazilian fifth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round.
Former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin’s struggles continued with a 7-6(7) 6-4 loss to Mexican Fernanda Contreras Gomez.
Emma Raducanu kicks off her Korea Open campaign in Seoul on Wednesday against Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima.