The first part of the tennis season is getting a little bit more clear. After the chaos of having four different tournaments going at once, we are beginning to get to the quarterfinals and semifinals of the events. This means fewer players but more time to focus on each match.
The Australian Open is also just a bit over a week away. One player who has to be a little worried about that is Novak Djokovic. Djokovic clearly was not 100 percent during the United Cup and he crashed out against Alex de Minaur in straight sets in Serbia's loss to Australia in the quarterfinals.
A wrist injury for a tennis player is obviously no joke, especially at the highest level of play. A slight injury to Djokovic can make a huge difference late in a tournament. Let's hope he has a temporary ailment. Here is some other news for Thursday.
Naomi Osaka handles loss well with some inspiration from Serena Williams
Naomi Osaka has always been a bit more open about her emotions than most other players. Heck, most other people, to be fair. One did not have to guess what Osaka was thinking. This was especially true after a loss because the four-time Grand Slam champion simply hates to lose. But after losing in the second round of the Brisbane International, Osaka's first event back in a year after dealing with injuries and having a baby, Osaka handled the loss to Karolina Pliskova with humor.
Osaka took to social media to voice her thoughts on her loss. The tweet was succinct and good-natured.
Post-match in her press conference, Osaka said she took inspiration from Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in simply trying to enjoy being able to play professional tennis. That means not taking every match so seriously. Or as Osaka said, "“I also just think I’ve trained so hard after giving birth that I need to enjoy these moments, and I also think in a way watching Sharapova, Serena retiring, I know that the tennis lifespan isn’t that long, so I should enjoy it while I can."
Stefanos Tsitsipas says Australia feels like home
ATP No. 6 Tsitsipas has been dealing with a back issue since at least November. He was forced to withdraw from the ATP Finals after playing a match and three games of the next. At a World Tennis League event in late December, Tsitsipas once again had to miss a couple of matches due to back pain. But Tsitsipas has played this week at the United Cup and seems much better.
He also is ready for the Australian Open to start. Tsitsipas says he loves Australia and that it "feels like home" because there are so many Greeks who live in the country or travel to watch Tsitsipas play. Says Tsitsipas, "It’s so refreshing coming back here. I can’t complain about anything, things are so great in Australia every year. It’s called the Happy Slam for a reason."