Andy Roddick Raises Concerns Over Naomi Osaka’s Form Ahead of US Open 2021

Published 08/21/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Aug 19, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) returns a shot against Jil Teichmann (SUI) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has only played eight tournaments in 2021 so far, including the Tokyo Olympics. Recently, she lost in the Cincinnati Open third round and cited lack of match play as the cause. However, retired American legend Andy Roddick does not entirely agree with her.

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On Tennis Channel, Roddick revealed that he expected more from Osaka after surviving Coco Gauff in her opening match. Moreover, he also highlighted a huge concern regarding her service game before the US Open title defense.

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Andy Roddick on Naomi Osaka’s loss in Cincinnati R3

In the post-match conference, Osaka said the lack of match play caused her defeat against Teichmann. Conversely, Roddick thought she got the gist in the three-set battle against Gauff.

“Well, it was weird because I thought she got through that first one with Coco, and I am like, ‘Okay, she kind of got into the flow of things. Faced a little adversity.’ And then, she kind of raised out to a 4-0 lead,” Roddick said.

Aug 19, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts during a match against Jil Teichmann (SUI) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, the 2003 US Open champion was hoping for Osaka to get the wheels turning, getting some mojo going, getting into the flow of this tournament, and blazing through the US Open, but it all turned in.

“You don’t often see Naomi completely go off with her service, especially in pressure situations,” the former World No.1 said.

He also reiterated Lindsay Davenport’s statement that Osaka is one of the best pressure servers in women’s tennis. “That kind of went by the wayside,” Roddick added.

Additionally, the former American professional gave all the credits to Jil Teichmann for sticking around. He even claimed that she toughed out Naomi Osaka.

But most significantly, Roddick said, “Maybe that’s lack of match play, but Naomi would have loved to have a couple more matches here in Cincinnati before the Open defense.”

What to expect from Naomi Osaka at the US Open 2021?

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Despite her recent performances, Osaka remains one of the most intelligent tennis players of our time. Hence, she will put in the hours to get herself ready for the American Grand Slam.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 12: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning match point during her Women’s Singles final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Thirteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

But this time, opponents like Ashleigh Barty and others would come stronger at her. Thus, it would be interesting to see her rise up against the many challenges once again.

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Do you think Osaka will win her fifth Grand Slam at the US Open this year?

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Purav Joshi

1131 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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