“Cannot Underestimate Her”: Martina Navratilova Optimistic of Naomi Osaka As She Looks To Bounce Back at US Open 2021

Published 08/28/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar


In the women’s game, Naomi Osaka by far has made the most progress on Tour. The Japanese star has emerged as the greatest threat on hard courts over recent years. All her four Grand Slam titles have been won on the concrete surface. 

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However, Naomi Osaka has not been in the best form lately. She has won three matches in three months. Former tennis great Martina Navratilova feels the Japanese star can surely bounce back and has done so in the past. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar

She spoke on this topic and stated, “Absolutely, absolutely. She’s done it before, where she was like, “Uh, what’s going on with her?” – and then she wins. She wins Australia, wins the US Open. You cannot underestimate her; she is too good for that. She’ll be ready.”

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Naomi Osaka had pressure during the Olympics opening ceremony

Martina revealed the pressure on Osaka to be the torchbearer at such a young age was immense. At one of the biggest sporting events in the world, to have such a responsibility was huge. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar

The 64-year-old further added, “The Olympics was a lot of pressure for her. I don’t know if I could have walked up those steps to light the Olympic torch. Talk about pressure, right? Talk about being out of your comfort zone. The whole world is watching, you really don’t want to trip at that point.”

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Earlier this season, Osaka won the Australian Open and followed that by withdrawing midway during the French Open. She later decided to skip the Wimbledon Championships. In Tokyo at the Olympics, she couldn’t go far. At the moment, Osaka is gearing up to defend her US Open title. We wish her the very best for the upcoming matches. 

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

 

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Rohan Kollare

1063 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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