Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka said that she doesn't know a tennis kid that hasn't pretended to be Rafael Nadal at least once and British tennis player Liam Broady agreed with that claim. "[Can you] Imagine? I’ve actually been warming up kind of left-handed but I don’t think that’s a skill that’s going to show itself anytime soon.
It’s just like for technical reasons. If I hit left-handed forehands, it’s easier to hit a backhand if that makes sense," Osaka said in Madrid. "I know that every kid growing up playing tennis in the world has pretended to be Nadal at least once."
Broady on Osaka's comments on Nadal
Broady, ranked at No.
143, hasn't had a chance to play Nadal but he once met Andy Murray at Wimbledon. "Are you really a tennis fan if you haven’t hit a forehand pass down the line and shouted Vamos Rafaaaa," Broady tweeted.
Osaka, a former world No.
1, hopes to have her best clay season this year. Osaka's preparation for this clay season included watching videos of Nadal playing on clay. "I think I stole one of the things that he did and I’ve been practicing it recently," Osaka said.
"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.
I’ve kind of wanted to see [Carlos] Alcaraz, so it’d be cool to watch everyone practice." Osaka has seven titles in her collection but she has yet to win a clay title.