Naomi Osaka (AP Picture)
MADRID: Naomi Osaka has stated she wanted a break from tennis forward of the beginning of the Madrid Open this week, when the world quantity two will likely be hoping to kickstart her profession on clay.
Osaka has by no means received a WTA event on the crimson filth whereas on the French Open, which begins subsequent month, she is but to make it previous the third spherical.
The Japanese four-time Grand Slam champion would be the quantity two seed in Madrid, the place she performs having taken virtually a month off following her quarter-final exit in Miami.
Her defeat by Maria Sakkari broke a 23-match successful streak and got here after Osaka received the Australian Open in February to again up her triumph on the US Open final yr.
“After Miami I took a little bit of a break as a result of I felt like I wanted to gradual my thoughts down a bit of bit,” stated Osaka in a press convention on Wednesday.
“I felt like I wanted it as a result of after Australia I had like someday of relaxation then I instantly began working. It wasn’t tennis, however different stuff. For me, I simply felt just like the hard-court swing, the Australian hard-court swing, plus Miami, was type of compressed for me.
“I did not actually have time to see my household as a result of I have never seen them since Christmas earlier than I went right down to Florida. I simply wished to spend time with them and relax a bit of bit.”
Regardless of her success on laborious courts, Osaka is but to seek out her finest both on grass or clay, and she or he will likely be hoping to realize confidence and rhythm in Madrid, beginning along with her first spherical match in opposition to compatriot Misaki Doi.
Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka are all in Osaka’s half of the draw.
“It is thrilling to enter the clay-court swing as a result of I have never received a event on clay but,” Osaka stated.
“Regardless that that does make me a bit excited, it additionally provides me a little bit of stress as a result of I actually wish to do properly right here.
“I do higher after I do not stress myself out and inform myself that I’ve to win a event. However it’s actually laborious to battle that feeling once you really need one thing.”