"We saw her give hell to Iga Swiatek" - Andy Roddick impressed by Naomi Osaka's improvements on clay

Thursday, 20 June 2024 at 02:30
After missing over a year on tour due to giving birth, Naomi Osaka has resumed her quest for glory on the WTA circuit. Her recent performances have led Andy Roddick to believe the Japanese Superstar has made vast improvements on clay and even grass, surfaces that were not her preferred conditions.
The four-time Grand Slam champion gave birth to her daughter in July 2023, and returned to the WTA tour at the start of the 2024 season. After some subpar performances, the former World No.1 shocked the tennis community by going toe to toe with defending champion Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. Osaka even held a match point on the World No.1, but was unable to close the deal and lost in three thrilling sets.

Osaka slowly returning to her previous form, says Roddick

Following the clay court season, Osaka faced off against World No.8 Zheng Qinwen at the Berlin Ladies Open. The Japanese star displayed some aggressive tennis that was reminiscent of her Grand Slam winning days. However, she was unable to topple her Chinese opponent, who hit a WTA seasonal record of 23 aces to prevail with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory.
In an interview with The Tennis Channel, Roddick had high praise for Osaka. The retired American highlighted her improvements over the last few weeks, especially on her least favorite surfaces of clay and grass.
"I think Naomi is making this progress on surfaces that she doesn't really like, that aren't natural for her," said Roddick. "On clay, we saw her give hell to Iga Swiatek at the French Open. She was the only one who is been in the same stratosphere as Swiatek for two hours of that tournament and then I like what he's doing on the grass.
"My favorite thing is that he's planning aggressively played last week, he played this week. has ever done in her entire career or even when she was at her peak. And I think we're starting to see those high-level moments from Naomi. Obviously, the mistakes come a little more often than when she was in her prime."

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