‘The Faster Courts Will Help Her’- Martina Navratilova Says Naomi Osaka Has Taken a Page Out of Serena Williams’ Book

Published 01/16/2022, 10:18 PM EST
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 has had a stellar career so far. At the age of 24, the Japanese has already won four Grand Slam titles. She erupted onto the scene when she defeated Serena Williams in the finals of the 2018 US Open. By doing so, tennis prodigy lifted her first Grand Slam title back then. Moving further, she has added two Australian Open titles and another US Open title to her kitty.

Many fellow players have spoken positively about her. She received widespread support from the tennis fraternity when she opened up about her mental health problems in 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Recently, Martina Navratilova, the former World Number 1, was all praise for the Japanese.

Martina Navratilova in awe of Naomi Osaka

At a pre-match show before the Australian Open, the 65-year-old said, “I think Osaka is a little bit like Serena, she’s got that big game and she doesn’t need that many matches as long as she stays healthy to play well and get that confidence. The faster courts will help her and at the same time her slice (shots) will stay pretty low on this fast court.”

Further, the 18-time women’s singles Grand Slam champion added that the emotional energy also makes the body recover well. Referring to the fact that Osaka needs to play more matches, she said, “you have to have the matches to get the confidence, more so for the body rather than the mind.”

World Number 14 at the Australian Open 2022

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Japanese managed to appear in only nine tournaments last season, including the Olympics. She had an on-off season last year owing to her mental health-related challenges. The Nike athlete enters the opening Grand Slam of the season on the back of a semi-final finish at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 tournament.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan serves against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Naomi Osaka is seeded 13th at this year’s Australian Open. She will face Camila Osorio of Columbia in the first round at the Rod Laver Arena on the opening day of the Grand Slam Down Under.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: A Day With Tennis Star Naomi Osaka

Can Naomi Osaka make it big at this year’s Australian Open? Do let us know your views in the comments below.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Vatsal Shah

803 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT