Injury-hit Naomi Osaka heads to French Open after “rocky” clay season

first_imgInjury-hit Naomi Osaka heads to French Open after “rocky” clay seasonAfter pulling out of last week’s Italian Open due to injury Osaka arrives in Paris with concerns over both her form and fitness. Osaka proved herself a powerful hardcourt player but her record on clay is less impressive.advertisement Next Reuters TokyoMay 22, 2019UPDATED: May 22, 2019 15:38 IST Injury-hit Osaka heads to French Open. (IANS)HIGHLIGHTSNaomi Osaka pulled out of Italian Open quarters due to injuryOsaka head into French Open concerned about both her form and fitnessOsaka has won Australian Open and US Open last yearAfter pulling out of last week’s Italian Open due to injury, World number one Naomi Osaka admitted she has had a rocky claycourt season heading into the French Open.Osaka, who won the Australian Open in January to follow on from her dramatic victory over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2018, is looking to become just the 11th woman to claim a third consecutive Grand Slam title.However, following the hand injury that forced her out of a quarter-final clash with Kiki Bertens in Rome and an abdominal injury suffered in Stuttgart last month, Osaka arrives in Paris with concerns over both her form and fitness.The 21-year-old has proved herself a destructive and powerful hardcourt player with her two Grand Slam wins in the past year, but her record on clay is less impressive.Osaka has never won a top-level WTA event on the surface and has failed to progress past the third round previously at Roland Garros.”I would describe (my clay season) as rocky, Osaka said in Rome.”But I can’t necessarily say it’s been ups and downs because if I think about it, it’s definitely been going up. Every match I’ve played I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried to take what I’ve learned into the next match and I think I’ve done that well.Anyone tempted to doubt Osaka ahead of the French Open, which begins next week, should consider her Grand Slam record.Osaka saves her best performances for the biggest stage; she has won 76% of all of her Grand Slam matches. Her win ratio at other tournaments is in the 50s.advertisementDuring a recent interview with the Financial Times, Osaka admitted to feeling the pressure that comes with being world number one.”I’ve never been number one and a lot of people were talking about it and I think I let it get to my head a little bit, she said.”When you’re number one you’re not really supposed to lose. At least, that’s how I feel. Of course, people lose all the time. But I just felt like I should at least win a tournament every month or something.”Osaka’s compatriot Kei Nishikori looks a far cry from the player who last reached the French Open quarter-finals in 2017.The 29-year-old is still coming back from a wrist injury suffered in 2017 but did win his first title in three years at the Brisbane International in January.However, since then the world number seven has struggled, going out before the quarter-final stage at five of his eight tournaments since the Australian Open.He lost to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the Rome quarters.Also Read | Andy Murray admits he might not play singles at WimbledonAlso Read | Novak Djokovic remains world No. 1 despite loss in RomeAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow OsakaFollow French OpenFollow Australian OpenFollow Kei Nishikorilast_img read more

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