Naomi Osaka came back to play on clay-courts at the WTA Mutua Madrid Open, winning 7-5 6-2 against countrywoman Misaki Doi. At the end of the match, the tennis player, winner of the last Australian Open, told her impressions during the press conference.
Talking about her relationship with the clay court, Naomi Osaka said: "I feel that I am more comfortable with this surface than in the past. I started playing better in the second set and I can only improve my movements on the court.
I hope that as I train, things can improve, already on the court I noticed these improvements. The only real memories I have on clay go back to a match two years ago, in the first two days here I felt upset and had strange sensations in finding the ball.
Playing on clay is very different from other surfaces, bad rebounds can happen, fortunately my coach calmed me down and said that these races will be all experience to improve on this surface.
Naomi Osaka: "Now I'm more comfortable on clay-courts"
I try to play using my style and naturally, thinking too much I think could hurt me.
I want to adapt to this surface but that doesn't have to change my game too much. My first match here? I am a perfectionist and I never feel happy. I can't say, however, that I don't feel happy, but I would say that I can always play better.
I felt there were some things to improve but I hope to do it already in the next race. I will have a different opponent but I hope to implement my game. After the defeat in Miami I wasn't feeling great, I needed to take my time and now I'm happy to be back on the pitch in such a tournament."
We have to recall that Naomi Osaka hasn't played a WTA event since the Miami Open 2021, when she lost against Maria Sakkari. In the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open, the Japanese will meet the Czech Karolina Muchova.