May/19

29

Osaka Driven To Win More Major Titles

Unlike all of the recent would be successors of Serena Williams, the current world no. 1 player is not satisfied with her recent conquest of the US Open and Australian Open titles and the WTA world no.  1 ranking. Nope, Naomi Osaka wants more.

Osaka revealed her mindset in this Roland Garros tournament and the rest of the women better take note because the Japanese tennis queen means business.

“I won the last two majors so I really want to win this one too,” she said after impressively eliminating AK Schmeidlova in three sets after a rough start, 06 76 61.

The 21-year-old Osaka is not resting on her laurels as the world’s best player, and she is clearly not content with her extraordinary success over the last nine months.

“I kind of have the thought of wanting to prove myself again,” she said with a sheepish and humble tone which softened the true intent.

Translation: I feel I have not even touched the surface of what I can accomplish and how well I can play. My best is yet to come so brace yourself tennis world!

Osaka will take on Vika Azarenka is the second round. Azarenka dispatched former champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round 64 76.

 

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31 comments

  • Hartt · May 29, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from RG. It sounds like the same shoulder problem that forced her to retire in Miami. It is such a shame, especially since they gave the shoulder plenty of time to heal, and she did not rush back.

  • catherine · May 29, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Oh that’s awful. I would be so sad if this injury turns out to be chronic at this time in her career. She really was/is a breath of fresh air in what has become a rather predictable women’s event. I suppose that match did for her shoulder. RG has lost a lot of interest for me now. Just hope something can be done to help it heal.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Devastating day for Kiki’s Bertens out and Mladenovic got steamrolled out by Martic.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Well that is good news for Serena that she does not have to play Andreescu. Serena’s draw suddenly looking brighter.

  • catherine · May 29, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Scoop – I think that’s rather an unfeeling comment, to see Bianca’s injury just in terms of a better chance for Serena. Shoulder injuries are always serious and I can think of a couple of players in the past who never really recovered from them and hence never fulfilled their early promise. Serena’s got plenty of titles. Bianca might not even have much of a future, although obviously I hope that’s not so.

  • Dan Markowitz · May 29, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Who set Andreescu’s schedule up this year? She played way too much for an 18-year-old who’s not too big in stature. She already had taping on her shoulder in Indy Wells. Not a good sign that Canada’s too youngest phenoms are both out now with injuries.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Well Dan when a player gets hot and is playing the best tennis of their life, it’s hard to stop. We know playing tennis is like an addiction and playing great tennis is even more addicting. The hunger to be the best is hard to resist, it’s an obsession. Boxers do the same thing in some world title fights, they leave it all in the ring and take beatings that they never recover fully from. Ali vs Frazier fights are an example. Hopefully Andreescu will be fine and get by these shoulder issues.

  • Dan Markowitz · May 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Yes Scoop, but that’s why you have handlers. You don’t leave these decisions up to an 18 year old. You pull back after she wins Indy Wells and don’t play Miami. You string her racquets a little looser.

    And how about the other Canadian who you praised and said would be top 10 again this year? Bouchard has to be one of the most spectacular flops in the history of women’s tennis. I mean who can you name who’s even come close to her wild ride to the top and bumpy quick descent to the bottom?

  • catherine · May 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Talking about bumpy descents – Sabalenka loses to Anisimova SS. Seems nothing can prevent Aryna’s slide. Maybe learning a second serve which is not exactly the same as her first ? I can see a change of coach on the horizon if she falls out of the top 50 – and I imagine it’ll be Tursunov’s decision. Heads and brick walls come to mind.

  • catherine · May 30, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Sabalenka – 8 dfs and no aces. Doesn’t that tell her something ?

    Azarenka and Osaka are into the 3rd. I’d like to see Vika win for sentiment’s sake but youth will probably triumph here.

  • Hartt · May 30, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Regarding Andreescu, yes it looks like playing Miami was a mistake. But hindsight is 20/20 and you can understand why she played it. She must have been on an incredible high after winning IW, and her parents had flown from Toronto to Miami, and Bianca had said that she wanted to win $ so her parents could attend more of her matches. She must have been very keen to play in front of them.

    Bianca was also very unlucky to have such an incredibly long, physical match in R1 at RG.

  • catherine · May 30, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Hartt – yes, I agree with your points – also, RG is a very tough tournament, 6/7 rounds, 2 weeks and clay courts which can be heavy to play on if damp conditions. So in a way it might have been a good idea if Bianca had skipped Paris this year – she’s got plenty of time ahead we hope. Then maybe entered Mallorca for grass practice.In the same way I thought Angie should have stayed away from Paris, avoiding a demoralising defeat – both could legitimately have claimed injury.

    But as you say, hindsight’s always 20/20.

  • Hartt · May 30, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Probably it was not a good idea for Bianca to play RG, although she said her shoulder was completely fine beforehand, so who knows what the actual situation was. It was her dream to play RG. A few months ago she said her goal for this season was to qualify for it, and suddenly she was seeded. So I can understand why the temptation to play the tourney was so great.

    The big concern is whether this will be a recurring injury. Let’s hope that they are very careful about when she returns to match play.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Nice win for Osaka, she escaped a very determined challenge by Azarenka. Osaka could win this. Good experience for Andreescu to get more feel for Roland Garros and the whole show. All the experiences help in the long run.

  • catherine · May 30, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Petko bts Hsieh in 3. I know clay’s not S-W’s best surface but I imagine Andrea’s a little surprised.

    I don’t know if having to withdraw like Bianca is a particularly good experience – and who knows how much damage her shoulder sustained over 3 hours on court? Young people are always in a hurry, which is understandable, but Felix’s decision not to play was,to me, absolutely the right one. Roland Garros isn’t about to go anywhere.

  • catherine · May 31, 2019 at 6:40 am

    And out goes Ka Pliskova to an ace from Petra Martic. Petra .2 is having a good year at 28.

  • catherine · June 1, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Sayonara Naomi – out to Siniakova in another 3 hour torment. No bow from Osaka at the net this time I noticed. What are the bets on Serena now ? Deserved win from Siniakova who has done her time in doubles and some of that showed in this match.

  • catherine · June 1, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Sorry – I was thinking about a previous match as I was typing – Naomi went out in 2, not a great performance but some people were puffing her to do a GS this year and although it’s not nice to lose anywhere she shouldn’t have that on her back. Seemed nervous and tentative and Siniakova took full advantage.

  • catherine · June 1, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Naomi says in her press conference (a gem by the way of awkwardness and embarrassment) that this loss was maybe one of the best things that could have happened to her now because she was thinking ahead too much about Slams etc. Good attitude.

  • catherine · June 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Leaving for the evening but just pause to say bye Serena. Kenin saw her off and we have an interesting line-up for the 2nd week. Serena could still be a factor at W’don but I’d say her aura has faded a little.

  • Hartt · June 1, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I came to report on the Sofia Kenin upset over Serena as well. Serena was far from her best, but Kenin played well overall, and kept her nerve in the match. With 20-year-old Kenin and 17-year-old Anisimova winning today, it was a good day for young American women.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Serenas aura of invincibility is gone. Kenin had no fear of slaying the dragon. Most players do and defer to queen Ree. Osaka showed them all that Serena is vulnerable.

  • catherine · June 2, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Scoop – looks like Anthony Joshua’s aura is gone too 🙂

    Serena’s been vulnerable since Wimbledon. My view is, she won’t be back even though tournament organisers will keep deferring to her.

  • Hartt · June 2, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Serena has been having an ongoing issue with her knee. If she can’t get that issue resolved it will be very difficult for her to win a big tourney. But if that can be “fixed” she still has a shot.

  • catherine · June 2, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Hartt – Serena’s mobility is gone – she seems top-heavy and her balance isn’t too good. I can’t honestly see her winning anything big in the future. Dropshot and lob consistently and she’s in trouble. Kenin did some of that.

    Vondrousova bt Sevatova this morning in SS. Marketa is very promising and a great prospect for the Czechs.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 2, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Catherine, Joshua will be even greater, he needed this loss. It’s the same thing that Klitschko and Lennox Lewis went through, they were being avoided and had to take mediocre fights and as Angelo Dundee said, “Great fighters have trouble getting up for mediocre fights.” Here is my view of the whole situation. http://ringobserver.com/2019/06/02/angelo-dundee-explains-why-joshua-lost-to-ruiz-last-night/

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 2, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Serena just can’t move like she needs to, like she used to. Pancho Segura once said, “If you can’t move, you can’t play tennis.”

  • Hartt · June 2, 2019 at 7:35 am

    This is a terrible way to treat any player , much less a man who could win the tourney. The story is that Serena did not want to wait for her press conference, and if that is true, she showed real arrogance and the officials had no backbone. (from Tennis.com)

    “During his post-match press conference on Saturday, Thiem was bumped from the main interview room by organizers in favor of Serena Williams, who unexpectedly went out in straight sets to countrywoman Sofia Kenin. The fourth-seeded Thiem had finished the English portion of his presser, before an Austrian reporter was cut off mid-sentence to make way for Williams.”

    Even the mild-mannered Thiem was not having it.

    “Thiem was moved to interview room two to resume his discussion. He was understandably frustrated at the tournament’s decision, as players generally agree to a time slot when requested by media.

    “I don’t really get it, seriously,” remarked Thiem. “I mean, what the hell? It’s a joke. What’s my point of that? I have to leave the room because she’s coming.”

    The 25-year-old then decided to cut his interview short, stating, “Well I’ll leave also then. I’m not standing around. I can also do whatever I want.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 2, 2019 at 7:48 am

    well done by thiem. for serena to bully the press officials to do this to thiem is another disgrace created by serena. well handled by thiem. serena just can’t seem to hide her monster side.

  • catherine · June 2, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Don’t blame Thiem. It’s the fault of tournament officials who have grovelled and kowtowed to Serena for much of her career. I assume interview room 2 was considered too small to contain the throngs of press wanting to hear Serena’s comments on her pretty undistinguished loss.

  • catherine · June 2, 2019 at 8:50 am

    US player Anna Tatishvili has been fined her entire first round prizemoney for lack of effort in her match v Sakkari. She was deemed to have performed ‘below professional standards’ (she won 1 game) and I think she’s the first woman player to transgress in this way, although I can call to mind one or two suspect contests.

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