Osaka Not 'Surprised Or Frustrated' After Italian Open Defeat To Zheng

Osaka Not 'Surprised Or Frustrated' After Italian Open Defeat To Zheng

by Zachary Wimer

Naomi Osaka wasn't surprised by Qinwen Zheng's level at the 2024 Italian Open, but she was still disappointed that her good run ended.

The former world no. 1 started this year's clay season with hopes of improving on the surface she has little experience with it. It was expected that it would take some time, but she went a bit ahead of schedule in Rome, comfortably winning a couple of tricky matches.

Her fourth-round match was another chance for her to do well, but she didn't play as well as she needed to because she faced a really good opponent who is ranked in the Top 10 right now.

It was a solid battle but not the desired outcome for Osaka, who still likely overachieved this week. She is more confident in her game now than when she came to Rome, and that's about what she hoped to get out of it.

"I think I definitely feel a lot more confident leaving than when I came. I hope that I can learn a lot from the match I played today and apply it and do really well in Paris. Honestly, I wasn't really surprised or frustrated. I mean, she's in the top 10, so I just really expect I guess amazing tennis from a top-10 player."

Osaka certainly made some big strides with her clay tennis in recent weeks, but there is a long way for her to go. Movement remains crucial for her because if she can put herself in a good spot, then she can unleash her power easily. That requires more experience and more matches, so she'll keep grinding.

"I think for me, if I was frustrated, it was more from myself. I don't know. I feel like I expected a lot from her, and it made me very overwhelmed with my own game. I don't really know how to articulate that properly."


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