Naomi Osaka Talks About Playing For Crowds After 'Important' Opening Win At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Talks About Playing For Crowds After ‘Important’ Opening Win At US Open

Naomi Osaka spoke about her mindset and crowds after winning her opening match in New York.

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Naomi Osaka described playing for crowds as ‘surreal’ after winning her opening match at the US Open.

 

The third seed began her title defence with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Marie Bouzkova in front of the Arthur Ashe stadium.

After a tentative start Osaka found her rhythm and broke on three occasions as she sealed a place in the second round.

In her post-match press conference the four-time grand slam champion spoke about the ‘surreal’ feeling of performing in front of crowds again, “Yeah, definitely nervous, of course. I’m always nervous during the first round in a slam,” Osaka admitted.

“But it felt kind of surreal to walk onto the court and to hear an actual audience this time. To see people and to hear their energy, because last year the automated crowd noise was kind of the same all the time. But here, people are reacting in real-time, so it was cool.

“I’m the type of player that wants to entertain a crowd as well. I think last
year I was just really business. Like I wouldn’t try to hit a crazy serve or anything like that. Of course, I’m only one match in here and I don’t think I’ve gotten that distracted yet.”

Osaka also spoke about her serving performance and how important the first round win was as she searches for a third US Open title, “My serve’s definitely one of my biggest weapons,” Osaka said.

“It’s able to come in when it’s really necessary. But hopefully it won’t be that needed in the future. I thought today’s match was really tough. I haven’t played her in a while. I guess just to be able to be the first night match and to win in two sets was really important to me.”

On Wednesday Osaka will face Olga Danilovic where she will be expected to back up her win today as she looks to be the one to challenge the in-form Ash Barty in New York.

However the Japanese star believes she has a clearer mindset now as the stakes continue to rise in her career, “Honestly I didn’t feel pressure today. I don’t really knowhow to describe it. It may have to do with, like, my mindset change,” Osaka explained.

“So I didn’t feel pressure today. But I think I felt nerves because I wanted to perform well. I think in my mind I told myself that if I performed well, then the outcome, even if I win or lose, should be okay.

“I definitely had a much clearer mindset. I feel like, you know, I’m trying to really focus on every point and every game. I know that getting broken is definitely something that’s really difficult to come back from. So I just really wanted to focus on my serve and tell myself to do everything that I could.”

After yesterday’s result, Osaka will not face a seed until the second week after Yulia Putintseva’s exit.

A fourth round match with Coco Gauff could still happen though a match that Osaka just about won in Cincinnati.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!

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Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 

 

The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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