‘Couldn’t Even Toss the Ball’ – Naomi Osaka Recalls Her Indian Wells Match, Says She’s Happy With Miami Open 2022 Conditions

Published 03/24/2022, 10:50 PM EDT
Mar 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts after match point against Angelique Kerber (GER) (not pictured) in a second round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Naomi Osaka has something to cheer about finally! After a disappointing start to this season, the four-time Grand Slam champion played a stunning match to defeat the former World Number 1, Angelique Kerber, in the second round at Miami Masters 2022. Moreover, she did it in style, dispatching the German in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.

Osaka entered the match short on confidence after her recent Indian Wells controversy. The Japanese star had burst into tears after her second-round loss earlier this month at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Apparently, the crowd had heckled her which made her upset. Nonetheless, Osaka has made a strong start in the second half of the ‘Sunshine Double’. After her win, she compared the playing conditions in Indian Wells and Miami.

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Naomi Osaka talks about the playing conditions in Indian Wells and Miami

In a post-match interview, the former World Number 1 opened up on the windy conditions in Indian Wells. She said, “I was telling Wim [Fissette] this earlier. I played Sloane at Indian Wells and in that match, I couldn’t even toss the ball to serve,” said Osaka. “It was always blowing away, so I’m glad I played there because I feel like after that there is no type of wind that can bother me.”

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Many players had complained about the windy conditions in Indian Wells. Moreover, it also led to difficulty in shot-making, as we saw many seeded players crash out early in that tournament.

Mar 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) serves against Angelique Kerber (GER) (not pictured) in a second round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking about Osaka’s second-round win over Kerber, it was a dominating performance by the 24-year-old. In a match lasting exactly an hour, Osaka attacked the German’s serve well. Additionally, she was strong on her serve, giving Kerber no chance of coming back into the match. The fact that Kerber wasn’t able to break the Japanese’s serve even once tells the entire story of Osaka’s dominance in the match.

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Following her second-round victory, Osaka will now face Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic in the Round-of-32 clash in Miami. The latter stunned 2021 US Open runner-up, Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 7-6(3) to set up a meeting against the four-time Major champion.

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Vatsal Shah

1226 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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