‘It’s Not Like Praying’- Naomi Osaka Reveals the Secret of Her New Pre-match Routine

Published 05/01/2022, 2:15 AM EDT
Mar 28, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) hits a forehand against Alison Riske (USA)(not pictured) in a fourth round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Former World No.1, Naomi Osaka started the 2022 season in a poor manner. However, she found her rhythm back at the Miami Open as she reached the final of that tournament. Currently, the Japanese player is playing at the Madrid Open. During an interview, a reporter asked her about a certain pre-match routine where she was holding hands with her team. In reply, Naomi gave an interesting answer. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 30: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic during their Women’s Singles first round match on Day One of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka talks about holding hands before playing a match

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During the press conference at the Madrid Open, a reporter talked about seeing the 4-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka, holding hands with her team. When asked about it, she said, “Yeah, I started doing it. I think honestly US Open 2020, around that time. It just, for me, like it’s not like praying, but I’m just saying like the things I’m thankful for and how grateful I am for the team to be here and stuff like that. Yeah, honestly, it changes like before every match. Yeah, just like appreciation kind of thing.”

It is worth noting that Naomi had her issues with mental health in the past. Because of that, she missed quite a few tournaments, including the French Open and the Wimbledon. This pre-match routine could be a method to calm her mind during tense matches. Regardless, she is doing much better both physically and mentally for the past few weeks after the Miami Open. 

Osaka had a great start at the Madrid Open

Many people believe Osaka is just a hard-court specialist, as she won all of her four Grand Slam titles on the hard surface. Moreover, she never reached the fourth round at the French Open and it’s the same on Grass court as well. 

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However, this time she is determined to do well on the red soil to bust the myth about her game. Earlier, she talked about watching Rafael Nadal’s videos to prepare for the clay-court tournaments. She started well at the Madrid Open by winning her first match pretty easily against the Russian, Anastasia Potapova; the score was 6-3,6-1.

In the next round, she will face Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain. If she wins that match, she could potentially face the no.4 seed Maria Sakkari in the next round. 

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How far can Naomi Osaka go at the Madrid Open? Let us know in the comments.

Watch This Story: Maria Sharapova vs Naomi Osaka – net worth comparison 

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Debkinkar Maity

550 articles

Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.

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