Osaka has never won a tour-level clay court event while still failing to make it through the third round of the French Open.
Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Madrid Open in the second round last week. AP
Rome: Naomi Osaka admitted that she found it frustrating to play outside of her comfort zone on clay as the world number two continues her warm-up for the French Open at the WTA tournament in Rome.
Osaka has never won a tour-level event on the red dirt, while at the French Open, which starts on May 30, it has not yet made it through the third round.
The Japanese four-time Grand Slam Champion was knocked out in the second round of the Madrid Open last week after having almost a month off after her quarter-finals in Miami.
“I’m not sure if I should tell you, but I always feel not so comfortable yet (tone), and I’m not sure if it’s because I have to play on it for longer or if I just have refuge. I didn’t grow up with it, ”Osaka said at a press conference in Rome on Sunday / p> Osaka has only played two games on clay since the 2019 French Open, having played the Skipped the Grand Slam last year because of an injury.
“There are bad jumps and all that. I am pretty frustrated. So, yes, mentally I think it’s a little more exhausting.
« But I think once I get this kind of blockage out of my head, I’ll be more open to mistakes.
» Right now I’m taking everything as a learning process and try not to be too hard on myself. «
Osaka is in the same half of the draw as four-time Rome winner Serena Williams, who has not played since losing to Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals , and the defending champion Simona Halep from Romania.
Before that she opened the second round either against the 37th Russian Daria Kasatkina or against the American Jessica Pegula, number 33 in the world.
« To be honest, I think that this is why I’m here to set up the game, « said Osaka, whose best performance at the tournament was a quarter-finals in 2019.
And she welcomed the extra week of warm-up ahead of Roland Garros, even if it did before the Tokyo Olympics less time to H ause means.
« At first I was a bit sad because it means more time away from home.
» At the same time, I have the feeling that I need the extra time on the sand, especially because of my previous one Results. Hopefully I’m better here.
« But I’m not really mad at grinding on clay and practicing here for a few more weeks. »
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