Tennis News: Naomi Osaka's frustrating irony and Daniil Medvedev makes no promises

  • Osaka doesn't get her wish
  • Medvedev addresses his outbursts
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Naomi Osaka reached No. 1 on the WTA tour in 2019 when she was only 21 years old. She fairly quickly won four Grand Slams, taking the US Open twice (2018 and 2020) as well as the Australian Open (2019 and 2021). But then injuries began to happen and the desire to win waned. Some of this was due to Osaka's admitted battles with stress and anxiety.

Still, the Japanese player has always been a refreshing player to watch. She has immense power, but a grace off the court. Maybe her opponents haven't always loved her, but that is what happens when one wins at such a high level early. Some players are likely to get jealous.

One surface where Osaka has never been comparatively good is clay. The best she has ever done at the French Open, for instance, was the third round which she has reached three times. While she has a career win-loss percentage on hard courts of 68 percent, she has only won 55 percent of her clay court matches, and nine of those came in 2019 when she was 9-2 on the surface. Take away that one year and Osaka is only 13-16 on clay.

Naomi Osaka makes an admission and Daniil Medvedev has no regrets

This is why when she started well at the Madrid Masters this week (Osaka lost in the second round, however), Osaka commented how funny she might find it to win her first tournament since 2021 on clay. In a press conference after her first-round win, she said, "I would like to win a tournament on clay, I would think it’s very ironic but also hilarious if my first tournament (win after coming back from 2023 maternity leave) would be clay." Hopefully, she will get that victory soon.

Another player who has struggled more on clay than any other surface is Daniil Medvedev. The Russian has won 20 titles in his career, but just one on clay. Recently at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Medvedev became a bit frustrated with his form, but more so with the linespersons and umpires as he did seemingly have several wrong calls go against him.

In two straight matches, the last of which he lost to Karen Khachanov, Medvedev had heated discussions with officials. Is he sorry about how he acted? Not one bit.

In a pre-Madrid Masters press conference, Medvedev was asked about his angry outbursts and he said, "Mistakes happen, I make mistakes on the court and now sitting here calmly I recognize those mistakes. I love football, in every match, there is some mistake and in tennis, we have seen other players make some. But in the moment it is very difficult to control emotions, so I do not regret it, it is something that can happen. That's how I reacted and I wish I hadn't reacted like that.

"So we'll see if it happens next time. I can't promise anything, but I hope I can focus more on the game than on the mistake itself." Fair enough.

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