Naomi Osaka 'stole' one thing from Rafael Nadal as she aims strong clay season

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Naomi Osaka 'stole' one thing from Rafael Nadal as she aims strong clay season

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka revealed she "stole" one of the things from Rafael Nadal's repertoire as she is hoping to have a strong clay season. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, has never won a clay title.

Osaka is aiming to have the best clay season of her career and her preparation included watching record 13-time French Open champion Nadal. "I think I stole one of the things that he did and I've been practising it recently," Osaka said, per AFP.

"It'll either go really good or really bad. There's like no in between. "But I think as I've been doing it, it's been going pretty well. "Honestly I've been wanting to watch the really good clay-court players practice because I feel like I'm the type of person that learns really fast if I see it up close and honestly it's a bit of a waste to have all these really good professional tennis players and not watch them."

Osaka aims a strong Madrid run

In her last tournament played, Osaka reached the Miami final. It was Osaka's first final since the 2021 Australian Open. Even though Osaka lost to Iga Swiatek in the Miami final, she was positive and looking forward to the clay season.

After the Miami final, Osaka revealed her preparation for the clay season would include watching the videos of Nadal on clay. "I'm going to watch a lot of Nadal videos to see how he moves," Osaka said. "Shout out, [Carlos] Alcaraz, because he's killing it.

"I just think that knowing I'm still a student and I have to keep learning, clay and grass is something I really want to tackle this year. So I'm willing kind of to do whatever it takes to get good results. "Not that results are everything, but I really want to do well."

Osaka is set to make her fourth Madrid appearance. Osaka expressed hope that she can at least reach the Madrid semifinal.