Naomi Osaka Plays Down Pressure Ahead Of New Season - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Plays Down Pressure Ahead Of New Season

The 21-year-old is looking to continue her rise on the women’s tour.



US Open champion Naomi Osaka has insisted that she is relishing that chance to live up to expectations during the Australian swing of the new season.


The 21-year-old has established herself as a rising star of the women’s tour following what has been a breakthrough year. Rising from 72nd to a ranking best of fourth in the world back in October. Becoming the highest ranked Japanese player of all time alongside Kei Nishikori and Kimiko Date. Osaka’s rise has seen her win titles in Indian Wells before she became the first player from her country to win a grand slam trophy in the Open Era.

“I never feel pressure to perform. I enjoy Grand Slams the most,” Osaka told reporters on Thursday.
“I always feel there is a certain degree of pressure but it’s from myself.”

Osaka’s most memorable win of 2018 was against Serena Williams in what was a dramatic final at Flushing Meadows. The world No.5 cruised to a straight sets victory as her opponent engaged in a heated argument with umpire Carlos Ramos. Williams was issued with a total of three warnings during their match and later fined $17,000 for her conduct.

“I definitely accomplished a lot of things that I wanted ever since I was growing up.” Osaka reflected.
“Hopefully, I can do better this year. I will see how it goes.”

The first tournament of the new season for Osaka will be the Brisbane International. A WTA Premier event that is set to feature seven top 10 players. She will be seeded second in the draw behind Elina Svitolina. It will be Osaka’s second appearance at the tournament and first since 2016.

“For me, I really love coming to Australia every time and I always seem to do well here so I would like to do well in the first tournament (in Brisbane),” she said.

Leading up to her return to the tour, Osaka had the opportunity to train with former world No.1 Andy Murray earlier this week. Who later took to Instagram to praise the Japanese player for her performance on the court.

“I think you missed about 2 balls in 30 minutes…and also for the advice on Japanese.” Murray wrote.

The main draw of the Brisbane International will get underway on Monday.

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Tennis Australia Chief Cast Doubts Over Tennis Resuming In 2020

Will there be another grand slam this year?



The head of the Australian Tennis Association believes it will be ‘tough’ for tennis to resume in the coming weeks due to the global nature of the sport.


Craig Tiley, who is also the tournament director of the Australian Open, has told The Sydney Morning Herald that he was unsure if another grand slam tournament could be played this year. Both the ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A period that is likely to be extended with Wimbledon reportedly set to announce that their tournament will be cancelled on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, both the ATP and WTA are reconstructing their calendars to see when they will be able to resume play again and what tournaments will be included. Recently the French Tennis Federation (FFT) moved the French Open to the week after the US Open. A move that has prompted criticism from many.

However Tiley is sceptical as to if either major event could take place later this year due to the worldwide travel restrictions. The heads of the men’s and women’s tour have recently said they were hopeful but unsure as to when tournaments will get underway again.

“My personal view is I think for tennis to come back this year is going to be tough,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It relies on global travel, and I think that’s probably the last thing that’s going to come back. I think sports that have a domestic focus are in a strong position and sports that have a global focus are more challenged.”

Despite the bleak outlook, Tiley is optimistic that the Australian Open will be able to get underway on time. The major is set to take place during January 18-31. The last time the Australian Open didn’t take place was back in 1986 due to the changing of dates. The event moved from their December slot to January.

“We’re looking at that right now,” he said. “But we’re planning running the AO 2021 and planning on having a great season.
“We’ve got to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Tomorrow morning we [could] wake up and there is some miracle cure or some concoction of drugs that really helps, or they’re on a path to a vaccine. [But] from all the literature you read, it doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.
“What I want to do as an organisation [is] I want to plan for it being really difficult for people to be travelling this year from country to country. I think within the country will be fine. [When] you can travel globally is when tennis can come back, from a pro level. From a local level, we can start right away and that’s what we would be focused on at the beginning.”

Tiley has been the head of Tennis Australia since 2013.

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Grigor Dimitrov – ‘Tennis Is A Microscopic Thing In The World Right Now’

The world No.19 speaks out about how he is coping during the tour suspension.



Former grand slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has become the latest player to urge the governing bodies of tennis to make a united decision regarding when play will resume again.


The ATP and WTA Tours are currently suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it is likely that the suspension will be extended further with rumours that Wimbledon will be cancelled for the first time since the second world war later this week. Dimitrov’s last tournament was at the Acapulco Open in Mexico, where he reached the semi-finals before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

“Tennis is a microscopic thing in the world right now. The ATP supervisors I’ve talked to in recent days have a variety of theories, but for the time being, we can really only guess if we’re being honest.” Tenniskafe quoted Dimitrov as saying during an interview with bTV.
“The tournaments are cancelled, but we have a big luxury in tennis – there is always next week. Yes, it is very difficult right now, you have seen the Olympics cancelled. The only thing that is at the forefront is to go through this situation we are in, and then start rebuilding. “

The world No.19 is currently residing in California during the lockdown. Describing the situation where he is as ‘more casual’ compared to other parts of the world. California is where the Indian Wells tennis tournament was set to take place earlier this month before it was cancelled.

“In my opinion all federations and players, no matter what rank they are, must come together and make a general decision. Because it’s really not easy at the moment to talk to everyone about points, tournaments, competitions … But now other things are really more important – to be safe, to be healthy and to go through this thing.” He said.

During the suspension, the 28-year-old is keeping himself busy in other ways. Recently he has signed up for an online course with Harvard Business School. Becoming the latest of a series of players to do so. He also manages to keep in touch with his fellow rivals on the tour thanks to the world of social media.

“One of the first players I wrote to was Fabio (Fognini) because he was in Italy. Everyone is on Instagram, we know everyone what they do every minute.”

When the restrictions related to the pandemic comes to an end, Dimitrov has vowed to return back to Europe as he outlines the first thing he would do.

“I just want to go back to Europe. Whether it will be in Bulgaria or in Monaco – I do not know. I certainly want to go home, gather all my relatives and just spend time together. I’ve been in the US for over a month now. As things currently look, there will certainly be another two months. Hopefully it will be faster, but I just want to go home and be with my loved ones.” He concluded.

In the fight against Covid-19 in his home country, Dimitrov has made a donation to a hospital in Haskovo. The city where he was born.

Dimitrov has started the 2020 season with a win-loss record of 7-5. Besides his run to the semifinals in Acapulco, he also reached the second round at the Australian Open and Rotterdam. He has been ranked as high as third in the world.

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Adriano Panatta: “Tennis institutions must protect the most traditional tournaments”



Former French Open and Davis Cup champion Adriano Panatta spoke to Italian newpaper La Stampa about the tournament schedule in the next months following the long break of the Tour due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Panatta said that tennis institutions must protect the most traditional tournaments like Roland Garros and the Rome Internazionali d’Italia.


“I make an appeal to Andrea Gaudenzi, the President of the ATP. As an Italian, I don’t know ask him to favour Europe, but tennis institutions have a duty to safeguard tournaments that have more tradition. Playing in Arizona is not more important than playing in Rome or Paris. Roland Garros was postponed until September without asking anyone. I agree with them. They have a history of more than 100 years. Rome must be rescheduled. October is fine, even after Roland Garros. Federer, who organizes the Laver Cup on the same date sas Roland Garros, did not take well. Federer i salso nice to me, but he will make a reason for it. We can’t go after him”.

 Panatta talked about tennis at the time when he was a player.

“I did not care about the Australian Open. I wanted to play well in Rome, Monte-Carlo, where unfortunately I never succedeed, Paris and the Davis Cup. I was going to Wimbledon because I had to go there”.

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