Osaka Admits She Watch Nadal's And Alcaraz's Videos To Find Clay Inspiration

Osaka Admits She Watch Nadal's And Alcaraz's Videos To Find Clay Inspiration

by Zachary Wimer

Naomi Osaka is playing solid tennis at the 2024 Italian Open in Rome, winning two matches so far, and her inspiration to try and do well on clay came from watching Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Osaka hadn't played much clay tennis before this year, but the Japanese player admitted earlier this year that she wants to do well on the surface. After a shaky few matches on the surface, she was confident that she could do it, and she is starting to figure it out.

She won her first match in Rome comfortably and then kept up the good play in her second match. Marta Kostyuk is no stranger to clay tennis, so beating her as easily as she did is certainly good for Osaka because she's growing more comfortable on the surface.

One thing that benefits her is her ability to hit some crazy shots. She's not the most natural mover on the court, but she doesn't have to be to be good on it. Her serve and power are more than enough, and the movement can be learned, especially if she keeps watching Alcaraz and Nadal on a clay court, as she did prior to this WTA 1000 event.

" So I went to Mallorca. Honestly, I did a really solid block of just focusing on what I want my clay court tennis to look like. I watched some videos. I watched Rafa. I watched Alcaraz. I watched Rublev actually which is very inspiring because he's smacking the ball."

" I kind of thought to myself, like, I don't want to have regrets when I leave the court. In Madrid I did kind of have regrets of not swinging fully. Focusing on that a lot, yeah."

She's certainly been swinging the racket so far in Rome, and it's worked out for her. Up next is Daria Kasatkina, who is an experienced clay courter as well, and that will be a tough challenge for her.


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