After lopsided loss in Rome, Naomi Osaka introspective and indecisive

by: Matt Cronin | May 19, 2018

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

Tags: Naomi Osaka

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

"I'm trying to figure out what type of person I am," Naomi Osaka said after a 6-1, 6-0 defeat to Simona Halep in Rome. (AP)

Hard-hitting Naomi Osaka wants to swing away, even when playing on slow clay, but admits she often isn't sure what she's doing on the surface—or even what kind of player she wants to be.

The 20-year-old defeated Victoria Azarenka in the first round of Rome, but then won just one game against No. 1 Simona Halep. She might even have got a little teary during her 6-1, 6-0 defeat.

“I didn't say, I wanna cry... Maybe I did. Actually, maybe I did,” she told press at Rome. “Because it's just like one of the most helpless feelings. Like I know I should be making these balls, but for some reason they're not going in, and I don't really know what I should be doing at this point.

"Because I'm legit playing the No. 1 player in the world. And the balls that I practice, they go in. And today it doesn't go in. It's just like one of those moments, you're a little bit depressed."

Still, Osaka gave herself credit for largely avoiding such performances since having an up-and-down 2017.

"I think this is the first match of the year that I've felt like this," she said. "So this year I feel it's been more stable. So I'm really proud of myself for that.”

The Japanese player had a great start to the season, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open and winning Indian Wells, scoring wins against Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Halep and Daria Kasatkina. She also defeated Serena Williams in Miami.

WATCH: Osaka defeats Williams at Miami Open

But Osaka admits that she is still uncomfortable on the slow clay, and said she rarely changes her tactics and would rather than just go for the lines. 

“Usually, there's like two types of people. One that would keep doing the same thing, no matter what, and it'll eventually work or it doesn't,” Osaka said. “But, they'll be happy that they stuck to that way. And then there's another group of people that they'll change what they're doing depending on what's working that day or not. And right now, I'm trying to figure out what type of person I am.

"'Cause some days I'll change what I'm doing and it'll work. But then, other days I'll just blast the ball and not really change if it goes in or out.

"I think it just depends on what type of player you are. I think clay court, maybe since the rallies are longer, you assume that people will change what they're doing. But, I don't really think that way.”


This Week on Tennis Channel Plus

ROLAND GARROS QUALIFYING (5/21-5/25)

-Tennis Channel Plus features up to 10 courts of live action from Roland Garros Qualifying beginning Monday May 21 at 4:00am ET

ATP ROME

-Miss any of the action from Internazionali BNL d'Italia? Catch up and watch all your favorite ATP stars anytime and on-demand on Tennis Channel Plus

*Matches subject to change

To get Tennis Channel Plus, go to BuyTCPlus.com

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

More Stories

Kiki Bertens' new game, and her trust in it, led her past Simona Halep

The 26-year-old saved a match point in a 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over the world No. 1.

Masters Class: What Djokovic's vintage win over Federer in Cincy means

The Serb won an unprecedented ninth different ATP Masters 1000 title in straight sets.

Collection complete: Djokovic tops Federer to win Cincinnati Masters

In the WTA final, Kiki Bertens saved a match point in a win over No. 1 Simona Halep.