Former Wimbledon Champion Details Why Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty Are Important for Tennis

Published 07/15/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Tennis -WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 12, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her second road match against Jessica Pegula of U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Although she’s just 23 years old, Naomi Osaka has made a huge impact on the WTA Tour. Since turning pro in 2013, the Japanese star rose to become one of the most prominent names in women’s tennis today.

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On the other hand, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty continues to create her legacy with her recent win at Wimbledon. Recently, former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli spoke about the importance of both players to tennis.

Bartoli believes Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty are very important for tennis

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Earlier this year, Osaka clinched the Australian Open in convincing fashion. During her path to victory, she defeated Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza while dropping just one set in the entire tournament.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

However, the World No. 2 withdrew during the French Open citing mental health issues. Although the clay-court Grand Slam had some of the biggest names in women’s tennis, including Barty, unseeded Barbora Krejčíková took home her first Grand Slam victory.

Appearing on the Match Points podcast, Bartoli admitted she didn’t know who won the women’s title at the French Open. In addition, she used this instance to indicate how important Osaka and World No. 1 Barty are to the game.

She said“I was doing an activity the other day in France and I asked the panel — they watched tennis; they watched Roland-Garros — and I asked them who [won] Roland-Garros on the female side. I couldn’t get the name. It happened a week before! This is why for me Naomi (Osaka) — and Ashleigh (Barty) in a way — is so important for women’s tennis.”

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While the 23-year-old hasn’t been in competitive action since May, she competes in her home country at the upcoming Olympics. Along with the World No. 2 status, Osaka is the reigning champion in the previous two hard-court Grand Slams.

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

However, she faces the possibility of competing with Wimbledon champion Barty in Tokyo. With the US Open coming up after the Olympics, both players will hope to clinch gold in order to set themselves for the rest of the season.

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Sanket Nair

331 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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