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Refreshed Naomi Osaka hoping to conquer clay-court problems in Madrid | Tennis News – Times of India


Naomi Osaka (AP Photo)

MADRID: Naomi Osaka has stated she wanted a break from tennis forward of the beginning of the Madrid Open this week, when the world quantity two will likely be hoping to kickstart her profession on clay.
Osaka has by no means gained a WTA match on the crimson filth whereas on the French Open, which begins subsequent month, she is but to make it previous the third spherical.
The Japanese 4-time Grand Slam champion would be the quantity two seed in Madrid, the place she performs having taken nearly a month off following her quarter-remaining exit in Miami.
Her defeat by Maria Sakkari broke a 23-match profitable streak and got here after Osaka gained the Australian Open in February to again up her triumph on the US Open final 12 months.
“After Miami I took a bit of a break because I felt like I needed to slow my mind down a little bit,” stated Osaka in a press convention on Wednesday.
“I felt like I needed it because after Australia I had like one day of rest then I immediately started working. It wasn’t tennis, but other stuff. For me, I just felt like the hard-court swing, the Australian hard-court swing, plus Miami, was kind of compressed for me.
“I did not actually have time to see my household as a result of I have never seen them since Christmas earlier than I went down to Florida. I simply wished to spend time with them and sit back a little bit bit.”
Despite her success on hard courts, Osaka is yet to find her best either on grass or clay, and she will be hoping to gain confidence and rhythm in Madrid, starting with her first round match against compatriot Misaki Doi.
Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka are all in Osaka’s half of the draw.
“It’s thrilling to go into the clay-court swing as a result of I have never gained a match on clay but,” Osaka said.
“Even although that does make me a bit excited, it additionally provides me a bit of stress as a result of I actually need to do properly right here.
“I do better when I don’t stress myself out and tell myself that I have to win a tournament. But it’s really hard to fight that feeling when you really want something.”

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