Naomi Osaka funnily shares one 'ironic' thing she'd like to happen

Osaka off to a great start in Madrid as she reveals her clay season wish.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Naomi Osaka funnily shares one 'ironic' thing she'd like to happen
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Naomi Osaka reveals she would like to win a clay tournament but funnily admits that her first post-pregnancy title coming on the dirt would be ironic.

On Wednesday, former world No. 1 Osaka started her Madrid Open run with a routine 6-4 6-1 win over Greetje Minnen. By beating Minnen, Osaka clinched her first win on clay in exactly two years - in 2022, she defeated Anastasia Potapova in the Madrid first round before losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo. 

Before skipping the entire 2023 season due to pregnancy, Osaka won seven titles - four of those came at the Grand Slam level, two at the WTA 1000 level and also won one WTA tournament in Osaka in 2019. But the interesting thing is that all of those seven titles came on hard. 

In the past, Osaka didn't like or prefer to play much on clay and grass. But times have changed and Osaka now wants to be a complete and great player on all surfaces. 

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Osaka hopes to land a clay title

“I would like to win a tournament on clay, I would think it’s very ironic but also hilarious if my first tournament (win back from maternity leave) would be clay,” Osaka said after her win. 

“For me, every tournament I play I want to win. I know that results so far haven’t shown that but I really think that something’s going to click eventually and when it does, I think I’ll be really good.

“But for right now, I’m just going to be as humble as I can. I’m happy to be in this tournament, I’m happy to be playing against the best players in the world and I learn from them every day.”

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

For a place in the Madrid round-of-16, Osaka will be fighting against No. 15 seed Liudmila Samsonova. While Samsonova certainly won't be an easy matchup, Osaka recently clinched a win over the Russian in Indian Wells 7-5 6-3 in their first-ever meeting. 

Samsonova has never been a strong force on clay and Osaka will certainly like her chances in that match.

Naomi Osaka
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