Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka served like a reigning Wimbledon champion Friday as she picked up one of Japan's two wins out of two against Kazakhstan on Day 1 of their Billie Jean King Cup qualifier.

The four-time Grand Slam champion, currently ranked 193rd, fired 15 aces and hit 21 winners on her way to a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Yulia Putintseva at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum.

The winning team of the best-of-five, indoor hard-court tie will advance to November's finals in Spain.

Japan's Naomi Osaka plays a forehand against Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva during a Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum on April 12, 2024. (Kyodo)

Osaka, playing in the team event, formerly named the Federation Cup, for the first time since February 2020, saved all three break points she faced while converting two of five break points against her 50th-ranked opponent.

"I'm pretty sure my serve helped me a lot," Osaka said. "I want to say like my form serving now is probably better than before."

Osaka said she had a moment of clarity about her serve after losing to France's Caroline Garcia 7-6(4), 7-5 in the third round of the Miami Open in late March.

"After I played Caroline in Miami, I looked at the stats because she was serving really well that day. And I realized that I was serving better than her. So (I was) just taking that confidence into this match and trying to learn from the mistakes I thought I did," Osaka said.

Osaka and Putintseva stayed on serve throughout the second set. The 26-year-old Osaka never trailed in the tie-break and sealed the match on a backhand winner.

Putintseva admitted serving made the difference in the end, saying "the surface is very, very fast...I think this surface is much faster than grass."

"It was very tough," Osaka said of her latest win. "I was actually super nervous going into the match and kind of throughout the entire match because I haven't played in Japan in a while."

Japan's Naomi Osaka plays against Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva during a Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum on April 12, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"I just really wanted to do well, but the atmosphere of the team helped me a lot. Obviously, Ai (Sugiyama, Japan's captain), she was very calm at the bench, so I think we were able to discuss a lot."

It was Osaka's first match in Japan since the Pan Pacific Open in September 2022 and since giving birth to her first child in July 2023.

Earlier in the day, 79th-ranked Nao Hibino had little trouble beating No. 939 Anna Danilina 6-1, 6-0.

The reverse singles matches are scheduled for Saturday, followed by a doubles match if necessary.

World No. 4 and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina has not been named to the Kazakhstan team.

Related coverage:

Tennis: Osaka loses to Garcia in Miami Open 3rd round

Tennis: Kei Nishikori loses on ATP Tour return at Miami Open

Tennis: Naomi Osaka loses to Pliskova in Qatar Open quarterfinal