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Naomi Osaka To Take Break From Tennis After US Open Exit

Naomi Osaka has admitted that she is unsure on when her next tournament will be after a third round exit at the US Open.

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Naomi Osaka (@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Naomi Osaka has admitted that she doesn’t know when her next tournament will be after a third round exit at the US Open.

 

Osaka’s title defence didn’t make the second week after she suffered a 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4 defeat to 18 year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez.

Despite hitting 15 aces and 37 winners Osaka suffered a three set defeat which saw her hopes of a fifth grand slam end at the US Open.

At the end of the press conference Osaka made a teary statement in which she admitted she needs a break from tennis, “Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do,” Osaka admitted.

“I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. I feel like for me recently, like, when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal.”

It’s clear that Osaka’s mental health has suffered since she took the decision at Roland Garros to skip press conference.

Since returning to the sport, Osaka has only won four matches in the three tournaments that she’s played.

The three losses that the world number three has suffered since returning have all been to left-handed players.

Osaka was asked in her press conference whether she struggles tactically to play these types of players, “I honestly didn’t really find it that troubling like when we were in the groundstrokes,” Osaka said.

“But I can’t even tell you how it feels to return it because I don’t think I could have returned a ball against a righty today either. I’m pretty sure my return stats were really horrendous. It wasn’t like she was serving bombs, so I’m not really sure what to say. But I do think her ad side serve was nice.”

Whatever the future holds for Osaka, she will be hoping to be in a more stable place mentally and will hope that will show in her tennis.

As for her opponent Leylah Fernandez she praised her own fighting spirit for getting her over the finishing line, “I was very happy how I played in the first set,” Fernandez said in her press conference.

I was serving well. I was playing well. She just edged up near the end. In the break I was telling myself to stay positive, keep fighting. In the second set I guess on the very last game I found the solution to the problem of returning her serve.

“From then on I was just fighting, using the crowd’s energy, putting the ball back in as much as I can, just be offensive and go for my shots.”

Fernandez will now play Angelique Kerber in the last 16 which she will be looking to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

ATP

French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.

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Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.

 

The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

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Jannik Sinner cruises past Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros

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Number 11 seed Jannik Sinner cruised past world number 186 Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 50 minutes on Court 7 at Roland Garros. 

 

Sinner won a long rally to earn his first break point at 15 with a forehand winner in the fourth game for 3-1. Sinner won his final three service games to seal the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Sinner broke twice in the first and seventh games to close out the second set 6-2. 

The Italian star broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and saved the only two break points he faced at 3-2 15-40. He closed out the match 6-3 with a double break at deuce in the ninth game. 

Sinner reached the quarter finals on debut in 2020 and the fourth round in 2021, losing to Rafael Nadal both times. He has extended his win-loss record to 8-2 at Roland Garros. 

Sinner set up a second round against Roberto Carballes Baena, who overcame Oscar Otte 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 3-6 2-6 6-3. If Sinner beats Carballes Baena, he could face either Nikoloz Basilashvili or Mackenzie McDonald. 

Hubert Hurkacz converted on 5 of his 11 break points and did not face a break point in his 7-5 6-2 7-5 win over Giulio Zeppieri. Hurkacz earned his first break in the 11th game to seal the first set 7-5. 

The Polish player broke in the first and fifth games and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-2. 

Zeppieri saved a break point at 4-4 in the third set, but Hurkacz broke for the fifth time  in the 11th game to close out the third set 7-5. 

Hurkacz will face a second round match against 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato, who came back from two sets down to beat Pablo Andujar 4-6 4-6 6-0 7-5 6-0.

Hurkacz reached the quarter finals in Monte-Carlo and Miami and the semifinals in Miami.

Hugo Gaston pulled off a five-set win over Alex De Minaur in Court Suzanne Lenglen. Gaston went down 0-3 down in the fifth set after losing nine consecutive games.

Gaston wasted two opportunities to end the match, as he was serving for the match twice at 5-4 and 6-5. 

The Frenchman reeled off five consecutive points in the decisive tie-break to beat De Minaur 4-6 6-2 6-3 0-6 7-6 (10-4).  

“The crowd plays a verry important role. They supported me right from the beginning. I like to share my emotions with the audience, so this helped me. This gave me strength, because it was not an easy task at the beginning and the end of the fifth set. I used the crowd. They were fantastic, so it was a great moment”, said Gaston.

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ATP

Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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