All General Discussion concerning WTA and ATP
Naomi Osaka: 'If Roger Federer can do it, I can do it'
In an interview to FT Naomi Osaka spoke about the pressure of being world No. 1. The Japanese player said: “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.
Just, like, 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.
I know that’s crazy but I was like, you know what, if Federer can do it, I can do it. It’s not even outside pressure, just pressure from myself, and sometimes it helps me play very well. Other times it just makes me overthink.
[It is] sort of a battle between those two”. "I’m thinking if I can say something, but it’s a really bold statement. I’m debating whether I say it or not. I’m just going to say it. OK, so you know when Serena was Number One? Basically, everyone knew that everyone else had no chance.
I kind of want myself to be like that in the future . . . I don’t want to change who I am as a person but I want to be more unapproachable, at least in the locker room. I don’t want to be fluffy."
Last edited by Grossefavourite on Oct Tue 08, 2019 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I seem to recall Venus saying because she had Serena she felt no need to make friends on tour.
That's obviously changed over the years, but it goes to show that people are different.
Why must everyone operate the same to be seen as "good"?
Maria being the "Ice Princess" as you say, doesn't mean she's changed as a person, as Naomi wants,
it simply means in regards to their work, they want to be that way for their own sake.
IMHO, it's not unlike some physicians whom appear cold, clinical, and aloof on the outside, but if
you knew them personally, you'd come to find that in seeing illness, injury, and death it is a
defense mechanism to maintain their own emotional and mental clarity and sanity.
People are different.
People want/need different things.
I don't need a lesson in life's professions!! Maria's is like that period; on and off the court!!
The establishment forced Venus that way, and she was happy when Serena finally joined the tour!! They were mean to her, not the other way around (Spirlea, Hingis and even Davenport)!!
Naomi is trying to become someone she's not ~ Serena!! She's done it with her hairdo, style of play, and now personality and I'm having a problem with that. It's okay to have an idol, but she's trying to copy Serena's whole persona (btw, that's what Serena does to Venus "I thought I was Venus")!! Not healthy!!
Naomi Osaka succeeding in her plan to dominate the fall Asian swing
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On Sunday, shortly after Naomi Osaka won the premier, mandatory tournament in Beijing (it's the last top-tier, regular tour event of the year), she told the WTA podcast that she knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish during the fall Asian swing, declaring: "I had a clear, specific plan of what I wanted to do."
Asked to elaborate on her "plan," she said, "In my head, I was chanting 'I will dominate.'"
It's quite a plan. Simple. Effective. Airtight. It was conceived in the wake of perhaps the most painful loss in a year full of them for Osaka. As the defending champion at the US Open, she was beaten in straight sets in the fourth round by Belinda Bencic. In the wake of that defeat, she decided that her goal was to run the table for the rest of 2019, winning all three events she planned to play: Osaka, Beijing, Shenzhen (the WTA Finals).
Many might have scoffed at the goal a month ago, but Osaka is now two-thirds of the way there. It's a noteworthy reversal for the 21-year-old, who said of her result back at Flushing Meadows in September: "Right now I have this feeling of sadness, But I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament. ... I feel like the steps that I have taken as a person have been much greater than I would imagine at this point. So I hope that I can keep growing. I know that if I keep working hard, then of course I'll have better results."
At the time, it sounded like an attempt by Osaka to salvage something -- life lessons? -- from the wreckage of a frustrating year.
Osaka earned the No. 1 ranking with her win at the Australian Open. But from that point until the beginning of the current Asian swing, she surrendered the top ranking, won no titles and compiled a record of 20-12. Her record in the three majors after she won Australia: 5-3. By the fall, it was easy to overlook the glowing ember of determination buried in the ashes of Osaka's year of "growth."
Osaka has been on fire since she arrived in her hometown a few weeks ago. She ripped through that Osaka draw without losing a set. Her momentum carried over to Beijing, where she lost a mere 15 games in a tournament that culminated with a masterful win in the final over No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.
Elina Svitolina is the only top-five player scheduled to play another event as the season winds down. The net result of this late-season surge by Osaka is that the prestigious year-end No. 1 ranking is back in play. Should she manage to lock that down, it will represent a startling rebound ending to a wild single-year journey unlike any other in recent tennis history.
Osaka's adventures in 2019 are starting to read like a coming-of-age tale compressed into a 12-month span, awaiting only a happy ending. She won legions of hearts when she was cheated out of the joy she should have felt upon beating Serena Williams in the controversy-plagued US Open final of 2018. Osaka declared that her breakthrough major title was no fluke by winning the very next slam, the 2019 Australian Open.
The wheels began to wobble almost immediately. Shortly after her win in Melbourne, Osaka dismissed her coach, Sascha Bajin. The German coach had shepherded her from No. 72 in the world at the start of 2018 to No. 1 in the span of 12 months, but he lost Osaka somewhere along the way. She told the WTA website, "This is my life. I'm not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around if I'm not waking up every day happy to practice and happy to be around [him]."
ESPN analyst Pam Shriver traces the dismissal of Bajin as the source of Osaka's travails. She told ESPN.com: "I felt since the Australian Open that Osaka is unsettled, partly because of that coaching change. She was somewhat unhappy, and then later she was not always healthy enough to play her power game to her top ability."
Naomi Osaka has been on fire during the fall Asian swing. She ripped through the Toray Pan Pacific draw without losing a set and lost a mere 15 games en route to winning the China Open title. Xinyu Cui/Getty Images
Following her rise to No. 1, Osaka didn't win three successive matches at an event until the Madrid combined event. Her flow was interrupted by a thumb injury. Her French Open was a calamity. She lost in the third round to No. 42 Katerina Siniakova and suggested that might have been a good thing because she had been "overthinking" the prospect of becoming the fourth woman in tennis history to complete a Grand Slam. Then came the reality check.
Not only would there be no more Grand Slam titles this year for Osaka, but it also became increasingly clear that Osaka was having enormous trouble digesting her success. Two days before Wimbledon began, she said: "Mentally it [being No. 1] was way more stress and pressure than I could have imagined. I don't think there was anything that could have prepared me for that."
Osaka went out and lost in the first round at Wimbledon, cutting short her postmatch news conference and leaving the room in tears. She won just three matches between her French Open failure and the Cincinnati tournament (she retired during her quarterfinal with a bad knee). By then, the thought of Osaka having to defend her US Open title in the glare of the New York spotlight was enough to cause even a neutral observer to feel queasy.
The US Open was a disappointment, mitigated somewhat by the touching concern Osaka showed 15-year-old Coco Gauff after she dominated the tennis prodigy in the third round 6-3, 6-0. Osaka was winning hearts, but she was still struggling internally. Looking back on that low point, she recently said: "When I played my last match in the US Open, I know there was a part of me that held back. And for me, it's just hard to unlock that part."
The lock was sprung in Asia, where the highlight of Osaka's week in Beijing was a must-see quarterfinal win over the latest WTA supernova, Bianca Andreescu. The Canadian 19-year-old toted a 17-match winning streak into the arena. On the way, she had collected the US Open title Osaka dropped and added to her formidable record against top players. Andreescu, who started the year ranked No. 106, won all eight previous meetings with top-10 players.
It took some 2 hours, 10 minutes of precise, fierce ballstriking by Osaka to beat Andreescu in one of the highlight matches of the year. The matchup forced Osaka to dig deep and call upon all her reserves of power, speed and -- hardest of all -- self-belief.
"I just told myself she's the player that's playing the most amazing tennis right now," Osaka said after the win. "I just have to find a way to problem-solve during the match. My game plan going in was to be the more aggressive player. ... Just trust myself, trust my serve, be aggressively consistent until I have the shot."
"It seems like she's found her confidence," Shriver said. "She's back to being healthy and her power, A-game is working again."
The win also was a preview of a potentially riveting rivalry, the one thing missing from the WTA these days. The suggestion led Osaka to quip, "Listen, I don't want to play her anymore. I'm good. One-and-done."
In the smaller picture, the result was worth far more than a single "W" on the stat sheet for Osaka. If she manages to run the table this fall, the win over Andreescu will be viewed as the tipping point. Osaka said of the match: "For me it meant a lot because I kind of feel like people counted me out after the Europe thing. I'm just like, 'I still won a slam this year. I won Tokyo. I'm still here.'"
She's here, and her colorful, taxing journey might end right back where she started in January: at the very top.
Obviously you do! Bitter about Maria and looking for anything to trash her for,
even if you need to see what is not there. Oh well, that's how some operate.
Naomi is so naive. I love her, but she really has a lot more growing up to do. She is just in her head waaaay too much sometimes. She actually believes she has to be aloof from other players to have them lose to her before they leave the locker room? It’s just not her. She knows that. I have a feeling that statement was made “tongue in cheek.” I like the fact that she set definitive goals for herself after the USO. Setting goals helps one to bring them into existence. There is no doubt that she struggled mightily after Australia. Did not know how to deal with the overwhelming attention. She seems to be more stable in her headspace now. That’s important.
More than anything else, I have the distinct impression that she did not want anyone stealing the limelight from her, i.e, Andreescu. That she wants to be top dawg again. She will be more prepared next time she gets there. The year end No 1 is up for grabs in Shenzhen. Let’s see who grabs hold of that brass ring.
Bitter by Maria's what?? NOTHING!! Everything has been left on the court, and when you guys bring up some bitter whatever, it just tells me you're out of an argument!! I noted Maria's behavior because I don't want Naomi to be cold like her!! People already know Naomi and would notice the change!!
Whatever you need to tell yourself.