Naomi Osaka Has a New Plan to Break Her European Tour Jinx

Published 03/25/2021, 9:46 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has opened up on her unflattering track record on clay in the European leg of the women’s season. The current women’s World Number 2 has been literally unstoppable on hard courts in the recent past, and her growing credentials on concrete were in evidence in back-to-back Grand Slam titles in last year’s US Open and the Australian Open this year.

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Naomi Osaka has never made it past the third round at French Open and Wimbledon

What’s more, all four of her Grand Slam titles have come on hard courts – two each at US Open and Australian Open – underlining her underwhelming track records on clay as well as grass.

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Speaking to the press ahead of the Miami Open, her first Tour event since her second career title at Melbourne Park, the 23-year-old Osaka conceded that she has yet to get a measure of clay and hopes to get it right this year.

While she skipped last year’s French Open, citing an injury, she crashed out in the third round at Roland Garros in 2019.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The Japanese was routed in straight sets by unheralded Czech Katerina Siniakova. What’s more, she has never made it past the third round at the French Open or Wimbledon.

Naomi Osaka is hopeful of fixing her record on European swing

And as is generally accepted, the mark of a true champion is his/her ability to conquer all surfaces and opponents and Osaka has to find a way to win more grass and clay tournaments if she is to hold down her status as one of the leading stars of women’s tennis.

With the European leg looming, Osaka is aware of what’s at stake and is keen to set the record straight this time.

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“Hopefully, it will work for me this time in Europe because my results there haven’t been that great,” the Japanese said.

She added that every year on Tour is a learning experience and also gives her a better sense of the “kind of schedule” she would like to follow.

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Osaka will headline the women’s draw in Miami along with the likes of current World Number 1 and defending champion, Ashleigh Barty, and three-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

845 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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