"I'm not gonna tell you all of my secrets," said Yulia Putintseva as she gave a big laugh at the Wimbledon press conference. It's obvious she's got many since it was only a few weeks ago she defeated Osaka again at Birmingham in the second round.
'You're only as good as your last show' the saying goes, but her last slam showing, the French Open she lost in the opening round to Rebecca Peterson. It might have been a blow to her confidence in wanting to do well at majors but came right back and won a title at Nuremberg.
She was glad and feeling impressive about that. It was at the Miami Open that she began proving to herself that she can win, beat the great ones and dig deep to raise her game and rankings. Putintseva dismantled Belinda Bencic, Anastasija Sevastova and then finished off Karolina Pliskova.
The Russian isn't to be toyed with and Osaka seemed to be at the brunt end of that racket on too many occasions. It seems as though the young Japanese's chances of winning and especially winning over Putintseva are not going well.
This was the third time they've played and the third time she's lost and in straight sets. "I don't think I played that well, but I wasn't surprised because I played her twice already," Osaka explained.
But the Russian's confidence is now elevated and her win column, in general, is growing. She's ranked number 39 and pushing rankings aside she is doing well. "I think I was able to keep my concentration up high...whenever I'm going down with Naomi and when she is doing so many winners...I was trying to make it as more uncomfortable for her as possible and that's the only thing...I was trying to mix it up as well..."
Putintseva had explained on her win over the no. 2. "It was a tough match and she's always pressing, pressing, pressing..." She admits that it's been only a few times she's played Wimbledon as a junior but tries to keep improving and holding on to her focus and concentration especially on grass.
"She mixes the balls up pretty well," the solemn Naomi Osaka said about Putintseva's game at her press conference after a straight-set loss to the Russian. There were compliments Putintseva did hand out ready to Osaka despite the result saying "She was definitely putting more balls in than the last two matches that we've played.
She was definitely making more winners, not missing like easy shots..." But it was evident that Osaka didn't have the upper hand over Putintseva and may need to go back to her team for advice on tightening up her overall game.
It might be especially useful too if and when the next time she plays the Russian to analyze their matches. As for Yulia Putintseva, she has a simple but precise game plan and says "I need to enjoy this moment that I beat a top player and hope to put on some good stuff and do good."