John McEnroe: Naomi Osaka could win US Open despite everything that happened



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John McEnroe: Naomi Osaka could win US Open despite everything that happened

John McEnroe believes that Naomi Osaka could still win the US Open despite everything that happened over the last few months. After abruptly pulling out of the French Open due to her mental health wellbeing, Osaka also skipped the entire grass season, including Wimbledon.

Osaka has been struggling with her form since returning to the Tour, picking up round-of-16 exits at the Tokyo Olympics and Cincinnati Masters. "It’s really difficult to say. I think she’s the best hard court player in the world.

Obviously all this stuff that’s been going on can’t possibly sort of benefit her. Your question is can she overcome it, is she in the mindset to overcome it mentally and physically having not played that much, basically stepped away from the French and Wimbledon, then all that accompanied her being in Japan, lighting the caldron, et cetera, then losing," McEnroe told ESPN Press Room.

"She needs to win a close one. She was double match point down against Muguruza at the Australian, pulled that out. Then she got on a roll. I think if she’s going to do well, it’s going to have to be one of those situations.

She didn’t have it when the going got tough in Cincinnati. She looked like she was competing hard, but she just wasn’t able to dig in the way you normally would see her. "Perhaps you could sort of take a lesson from that.

The next time it happens, play a little bit differently. If she gets through one of those matches, I think she could win it. I also think there’s probably 10 other girls that could win it also."

Pam Shriver also talked Osaka's US Open chamces

"Osaka, like many players, seems to feel more comfortable the more matches you play.

Someone like Serena, sometimes she won some of her majors having hardly played leading into the major," Shriver said. "That is a concern, but we know how quickly a major, you can play your way into better form, into better confidence.

Again, going back to the place where she had her first major win, she played so well last year under great pressure on and off the court, even with no fans. She’s second favorite to Barty. I agree with that. "I think there’s certainly a lot of question marks based on the last few months, and as you mentioned, not quite enough matches to feel confident."