Tennis - Former World No. 1 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has said that current World No. 1 Naomi Osaka is facing the pressure of being the top-ranked player after winning successive Grand Slams at the US Open and Australian Open. Speaking to reporters in India, where she is currently promoting the TCS World 10K event, the Spaniard commented, "It happens to everyone.
When you reach number one, the pressure is double and everyone wants to beat you. It’s hard to put it all together but once you’re ready for it... it’s a different story. If she’s free of injury then definitely she’s the player to watch after the domination of Serena Williams.
If she’s healthy, (Osaka is) one of the title contenders." Since winning the title in Melbourne, Osaka withdrew from the Qatar Open with a back problem in February and the Stuttgart event with a abdominal injury in May.
She also lost to Kristina Mladenovic in her first match back in Dubai, to Belinda Bencic in the Indian Wells round of 16 and the Madrid Open quarter-finals and to Hsieh Su-Wei in the Miami Open. At the ongoing Italian Open in Rome, Osaka pulled out of her quarter-final match against Kiki Bertens, of Netherlands,, in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The Spaniard, herself, won the French Open at the age of 17 in 1989 when she defeated Steffi Graf in the final and went on to become World No. 1 a few years later. She ended her career with 4 Grand Slam singles titles and 6 Wimbledon doubles titles.