In a conference call on Saturday the WTA Founder Billie Jean King praised Naomi Osaka's mental strength. The 21-year-old wasted match points in the second set during the Australian Open final against Petra Kvitova but she was still able to regroup and win the third set to conquer her second consecutive Major title.
"She is just so strong emotionally and mentally. She resets very quickly. Being able to reset quickly is really important. She does", said King on Osaka, who trains at the Chris Evert Academy in Florida most of the year.
"I think it's great when we have someone who grew up in America. I know she's saying she's from Japan, but culturally she's us and Japanese and Haitian. That's great. You have more to draw from. But I think if you make the Fed Cup, first of all, that in itself is a huge honor.
Those are the kids you're going to look at. Like I'll be really watching all of them, whoever plays. I'll be taking information. I haven't been able to see them live, so this will be great. I watch them on Tennis Channel or ESPN.
I think I can tell you more by Sunday night than I can right now. I'm looking forward to these matches because they didn't work out the way everybody thought they were going to play. It's even more fun, more dramatic, I think.
Sonia, people are telling me she's very competitive. I know she's had great matches. But I'll ask myself, Which ones do I think in the long run can finish? It's so hard to finish. Haven't you already noticed that in life? Agreements.
If you're writing a story. To finish is so difficult. That's what separates the top players. They know how to somehow raise their game a level if they have to. Their observations are stronger, clearer. Clarity is important.
All those things. I'll be watching for all those aspects as I watch them play. But by tomorrow night, I can tell you a lot more."