Naomi Osaka Reveals She Wants to Play Like Grigor Dimitrov Ahead of Australian Open 2022

Published 01/07/2022, 11:30 AM EST
Tennis – WTA 250 – Melbourne Summer Set – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 4, 2022 Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her round of 32 match against France’s Alize Cornet REUTERS/Loren Elliott

As the new season has commenced on a high note, the WTA has thrilled fans with some sparkling tennis. Making her much-anticipated return to the game after the 2021 US Open, World No.13 Naomi Osaka is looking at her dominant best yet again. Having slipped down the rankings off late, she is well on her way to achieving success Down Under. Currently taking part in the Melbourne Summer Set 1, she is looking unstoppable. After her latest victory, the former World No.1 had a lot to say.

2021 was a particularly challenging year for Naomi Osaka. After a bright start to the year where she won the Australian Open, she suffered multiple setbacks on a professional and personal level. Right from the French Open up until Flushing Meadows, there were various problems for Osaka. Entering the new year with renewed hope and optimism, the 4-time Grand Slam winner is seemingly happier on court. It will be interesting to see if she can pull out her best bag of tricks soon, when she defends her crown Down Under.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Naomi Osaka on where she needs to improve ahead of Australian Open 2022

On Friday, Osaka battled the ageless Andrea Petkovic of Germany. In a high stakes clash, it was the Japanese sensation who progressed to the semi-finals. Having already beaten the likes of Alize Cornet, her 6-1 7-5 victory didn’t come as much of a surprise. Looking ever so rampant, the defending Australian Open winner thumped the ball to all parts. With her forehand looking ever so deadly, she booked her spot in the final four, where she will take on 3rd seed Veronika Kudermetova.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although the 24-year-old seemed flawless for the most part, she spoke post-match on a key aspect she is looking to improve on. A power hitter and pure ball striker, few remember Osaka for her deft touches and volleys. And according to her, the finishes from close to the net are crucial. “For me, I feel like that net game is really important,” she claimed. “I was watching Dimitrov play before that, and him and his opponent seemed to be quite good ending things at the front of the net. I just want to kind of be like that.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 14: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning match point in her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during day seven of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Imagine how destructive Osaka will end up, if she can brush up on her net game. Rest assured, she will return to the top of the rankings in no time, provided she can maintain her level. Lay down your predictions for Naomi Osaka in Australian Open 2022 in the comment section.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sankalp Harikrishnan

655 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK