‘She dominates like Serena Williams’ claims Martina Navratilova on Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka goes about her business similarly to 23-time Slam champion Serena Williams according to tennis legend Martina Navratilova.
Looking ahead to the 2022 season, the Australian Open in particular presents an excellent opportunity for the Japanese superstar to get back on track.
Naomi Osaka has won two of the last three Australian Opens, and has won four of the last seven Majors played on hard courts stretching back to her first Slam triumph at the 2018 US Open.
Such surface dominance has drawn a comparison to her opponent that day, Serena Williams, from 18-time singles Slam champion Martina Navratilova.
“Naomi [Osaka] dominated the majors, particularly the hard courts, but never the little tournaments,” she told the WTA.
“Kind of like Serena. I think to leave your mark on the game, you need to dominate all the events, a la Barty, a la Djokovic.
“They concentrate on majors, but you can’t just use the other tournaments as warmups.”
After struggling mentally in in the lead-up to the 2021 French Open, Naomi Osaka played just eight matches across three events following the French Major.
She went 5-3 over the Tokyo Olympics, Cincinnati Open and US Open before calling an end to her 2021 season.
Such little play will not do any good for her confidence and rhythm suggests Navratilova.
“The less you play, the more the pressure builds up and the less feel you have for the game itself,” she explains.
“You need to put in the reps. If [Naomi Osaka] can do that, she has the game to blow anybody off the court because she’s quick, moves well and is strong on both wings.
“And she’s got the massive serve as well. She just needs to play more matches.”
Osaka is set to kick off her season at the Melbourne Summer Set at one of two WTA 250 events beginning 3rd and 4th January.
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