Naomi Osaka Roland Garros 2019

‘I’m lacking experience on clay,’ Naomi Osaka admits practice on the surface a necessity

Naomi Osaka acknowledges her need for matches on clay before Roland Garros given her scarcity of time on the surface in recent years.

Naomi Osaka has spoken about the need to build her confidence on clay ahead of the Madrid Open as well as the French Open at the end of May.

“I haven’t touched clay in two years either,” the world No. 2 stated in a pre-tournament press conference in Madrid. “I’m just going in here just trying to have fun and trying to build, I guess, match play for French.”

Osaka has been thoroughly impressive since tennis returned from its pandemic hiatus, winning the US Open and Australian Open in that time.

While the Japanese star’s 4-time Slam champion credentials are of course noteworthy, she has struggled on the clay throughout her career, never advancing past the third round at Roland Garros in particular.

“It’s really hard to tell because I can’t remember how I felt the last time I was here playing, but I do know that I think I’m hitting the ball pretty well,” Osaka continued in her press conference.

“I can only hope that for now that’s good enough. Maybe when I play my matches I’ll be able to adjust a lot better.”

Osaka last played on clay back in February 2020, a Fed Cup qualifier match that she lost to Sara Sorribes Tormo 0-6, 3-6. This has been her only match on clay since the 2019 French Open.

“As of right now, I don’t really have that much experience to be able to tell what’s good on clay and what’s not good on clay,” Osaka concluded.

Naomi Osaka is the no. 2 seed at the WTA 1000 event in Madrid, just behind Ashleigh Barty, which gets underway on 29th April.

Read more of the Japanese superstar’s thoughts prior to the Madrid Open.