Naomi Osaka Wastes No Time After Madrid Open Loss, Begins Working on Her Clay Court Skills

Published 05/06/2021, 4:31 AM EDT
Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


World No. 2 Naomi Osaka didn’t have a great start to her 2021 tennis season. The Japanese star lost to World No. 20 Karolina Muchova in three sets at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. Osaka didn’t look comfortable throughout the match, and even though she won the second set, she stood nowhere near Muchova in the third set. The final scoreline of the match was 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

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Clay hasn’t been a happy place for Naomi Osaka in the recent past. Although she missed the French Open last year due to a back injury, she hasn’t been up to the mark when it comes to playing on clay and doesn’t have an impressive record at the Grand Slam.

Right now, Osaka has an 18-13 win-loss record on clay. Similarly, her win-loss stats at Roland Garros are 6-4, which aren’t too great for a prolific player like her. Interestingly, she hasn’t defeated any top 20 players in the Grand Slam so far.

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Osaka definitely looks thirsty for some glory on the surface and has started practicing more on clay. She wasted no time after her defeat at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 and is training hard right now in Rome for future tournaments on clay.

Naomi Osaka hits the net in Rome

The Italian Open 2021 will begin right after the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. It is a golden chance for Osaka to prove her critics wrong and win her maiden Masters 1000 title on clay. As a result, she is giving her 100 percent in practice sessions to prepare herself for future challenges.

Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Elise Mertens of Belgium (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

She practiced her shots, especially the backhand that has let her down in her recent matches. Experts believe that Osaka fails to analyze the topspin and the bounce of the ball, which makes her lose points very quickly.

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Naomi Osaka will soon begin her Italian Open 2021 campaign. The French Open 2021 delay will surely help her as she’ll get an extra week to practice on clay. Irrespective of her poor performance on clay so far, fans really have high expectations from the World No. 2 player. Will Osaka be able to turn the tables around at the Italian Open 2021?

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DIVE DEEPER

“Would Prefer to Peak at French Open”: Naomi Osaka Following Her Mutua Madrid Open 2021 Exit

about 2 months ago

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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