'Ostapenko Won French Open': Osaka Confident Of Her 'Guns' On Clay

'Ostapenko Won French Open': Osaka Confident Of Her 'Guns' On Clay

by Erik Virostko

Naomi Osaka was never an outstanding clay-court player, but that doesn't mean that she can't succeed on the surface.

The Japanese player has played only 12 matches in the only clay-court major in tennis, and she never made it past the third round, winning 7 of those 12 matches. On top of that, her performances at the clay-court WTA 1000 tournaments weren't any better.

In 2019, she reached the quarter-finals of both the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, but in Rome, she had only two wins in her career until she added her third this year against Clara Burel in the opening round.

The former world no. 1 came to Rome in an attempt to improve her clay game prior to the French Open, and discussing her performance after beating the French player, she admitted that she wanted to be less defensive than she was in Madrid.

"Yeah, it's been kind of tough for me because when I played my last match in Madrid, I was obviously a lot more defensive than I would have wanted. To be honest, I'm not sure if that was because of clay court."

"I think I just wanted to play a little bit more rallies with her. Today I told Wim that I wanted to come out a lot stronger. Obviously that didn't happen. So, yeah, there is a little bit of back and forth with me."

Osaka is a player who has a lot of power and plays quite flat, which doesn't suit well for clay courts. However, there's another player, Jelena Ostapenko, who plays relatively similarly, and she managed to win the Roland Garros, which suggests to the Japanese player that she may do the same.

"Sometimes I think that Ostapenko won French Open, so maybe I should just stick to my guns. To be honest, I don't really try to bang the ball. That's, like, just what happens."

"I think for me, I just want to put more spin on it while rotating it a lot more. I think when I'm finally able to achieve that, it will obviously be quite heavy, so I thought that will be my clay court tennis."


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