Sports Tennis 25 May 2019 Naomi Osaka arrives

Naomi Osaka arrives

AFP
Published May 25, 2019, 1:18 am IST
Updated May 25, 2019, 1:18 am IST
Naomi wants to nail all four Grand Slams this year.
Naomi Osaka of Japan serves to Madison Keys of the US during their women’s singles third round match of the 2018 French Open in this file photo. (Photo: AFP)
 Naomi Osaka of Japan serves to Madison Keys of the US during their women’s singles third round match of the 2018 French Open in this file photo. (Photo: AFP)

Paris: Naomi Osaka said Friday it would be “cool” to complete a Grand Slam sweep in 2019 even if her meteoric rise to fame has left her feeling as if she’s 35 rather than 21.

The world number one won her first major at the US Open last year and then backed it up with the Australian Open in January.

 

Now she is top seed at a major for the first time at Roland Garros and sees no reason why she cannot take Paris, Wimbledon and finish the year with a successful defence of her title in New York.

“Roland Garros, that’s what I’m dreaming about right now,” said Osaka, the top seed when the French Open starts on Sunday.

“If you’re talking about longer goals, of course I haven’t won Wimbledon yet and it would be really cool to win everything in one year,” she said.

Germany’s Steffi Graf was the last woman to win a calendar Grand Slam in 1988. Before her, it is a feat only achieved by Margaret Court in 1970 and Maureen Connolly in 1953.

 

Despite Osaka having yet to get past the third round in Paris, she insists she increasingly feels that winning Slams is part of her destiny. “I feel really old, but actually, I’m 21. I feel like when I talk to you guys, it’s like I’m talking like I’m a 35-year-old person that’s been through a lot,” she said.

“I always had really big goals and dreams. I always thought I would be No. 1 and win a Grand Slam when I was 18. I know that sounds kind of crazy. When that didn’t happen, I was a little bit depressed. I was thinking, like, I’m late, like, I’m kind of late to the party. Yeah, then I kind of realise that everyone has their own path. I’m not really supposed to compare myself to anyone else and I should just keep working as hard as I can, and eventually I’ll get to where I want to be,” Osaka said.

 

Osaka’s on-court confidence is growing even if it’s not particularly shared by her family. “This year (in Melbourne) I called my mom in, like, the second round. I was, like, ‘Do you want to come to Australia because I’m going to win this tournament?’” she said.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT