Tennis News: Naomi Osaka, Casper Ruud and Novak Djokovic

  • Osaka moves way up
  • Ruud knows the difference with Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz

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Naomi Osaka has had her best week since beginning her tennis comeback at the beginning of 2024. After getting mixed results in her early tournaments, she got a break at the Qatar Open. The four-time Grand Slam champion and former WTA No. 1 made it into the quarterfinals partly because her round of 16 opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, was forced to withdraw.

That win along with Osaka's victories over Caroline Garcia and Petra Martic meant Osaka will jump from No. 747 to No. 286 in the WTA rankings next week, a jump of 461. While one of Osaka's first three wins at the Qatar Open was a walkover, she still earned her first two wins, including one over 15th-seed Garcia. Osaka is not yet all the way back to being a top-ten player, but she is showing promise and that is good for her and for tennis.

Osaka is a popular player who reveals her emotions more than most. Her openness about her mental struggles is good for the game and good for humanity. She is a natural leader simply because she shares her fears. We should hope she continues her climb up the rankings and by the end of 2024 is a top-20 player.

Naomi Osaka rises while Casper Ruud discusses Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz

As far as top-20 players, Casper Ruud, the current No. 12, knows a thing or six about other top ATP players. This is especially true about Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. Djokovic is No. 1 in the ATP rankings and Alcaraz is No. 2. Neither has been perfect in 2024, however, as Djokovic lost in the semifinals of the Australian Open and Alcaraz lost in the quarterfinals so possibly the field is gaining on them.

But the difference between Djokovic and Alcaraz? According to an article from Tennis Infinity, Ruud thinks Alcaraz just plays at a faster speed, even though both players have all the shots needed to beat anyone they are facing.

According to Ruud, "Carlos and Novak, they kind of play similar tennis in a way. Just there’s one thing that they do opposite. I mean, they have kind of all shots in the book. But Carlos maybe plays at a little higher speed in the way he can accelerate even more."

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