The 25-year-old could not have hoped for a better script for a potential contribution, she writes for January 17, when she won her opening match 6-3 6-3 against Colombian Camila Osorio at Rod Laver Arena.
Osaka, who is the 13th seeded in this year's draw, drove herself into a 5-0 lead in the opening set on Monday before some lively play from 20-year-old Osorio and a couple of unforced errors allowed her a route into the match.
The Japanese star eventually managed to win the first set. In the second set, Osorio had two early break points but was unable to capitalize.
Osaka broke into a 3-1 lead and a misguided Osorio backhand in the net finally gave Osaka the win to get his title defense to the perfect start.
She added: "I hope we have given you a really good performance. It always feels very special for me to come back here. I have a lot of good memories here."
Osaka must face Madison Brengle in the second round after the American advanced as Dayana Yastremska pulled back 1-6 6-0 0-5.
The four-time grand slam champion said she prioritises her enjoyment on the pitch during her time in Melbourne.
"I accept the fact that I want dips and I have to figure out a way to overcome it."
Could this be the year?
The Spaniard beat Marcos Giron 6-1 6-4 6-2 in just one hour and 49 minutes to advance to the second round in Melbourne.
In what was his 70th victory in the competition, Nadal continued his fast start to 2022 at Rod Laver Arena.
After missing the end of the 2021 season thanks to a foot injury, Nadal won the Melbourne Summer Set title two weeks ago, his first tournament victory on Australian soil since the 2009 Australian Open.
And the 35-year-old maintained his good form against Giron, a dominant 24-minute first set was setting the tone.
Nadal continued to keep his foot down all the way as he drove past world No. 66 Giron without too much fuss.
And he stressed the importance of winning last week at the Melbourne Summer Set after beating Giron.
"And I think I'm doing better and better. You never know what's going on, but I'm glad if you tell me I want to be in this position a month ago, of course I would no doubt sign the paper ( smiling).
"In the beginning (of a comeback) things get tough, of course you will not have the best feelings sometimes on the pitch.
"But it definitely helps to stay positive, play with the right energy and of course be on tour, practice with the guys and win matches."
Sixth seed Nadal will now face the winner of the match between wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis and qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the second round.