With four Major titles by her name, Naomi Osaka is already among the most decorated players of the previous two decades. Naomi's Major crowns came within a couple of years at the Australian Open and the US Open, dominating the most significant scene on the hard court and preparing the title defense in New York in September.
Before that, the Japanese will try to improve her results at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, scoring ten wins from 17 matches at the European Majors and never reaching the fourth round. Martina Navratilova backs the Japanese to improve her results in Paris and London and chase both titles that would carry her towards the Career Slam.
"The potential is there, no doubt about it. The surfaces are much more similar than they used to be. Grass is slower, clay is faster, the balls are faster. You don't have to make nearly as much of an adjustment as you used to.
I don't see Naomi being that confident with her sliding. But then, Andre Agassi won the French Open without sliding; it can be done. But it just makes life easier when you slide, and you're comfortable with timing with your strokes.
There's no doubt that she has the game to win both on the clay and the grass. I think she's still learning when to pull the trigger on the clay.
Martina Navratilova backs Naomi Osaka to chase all four Majors.
Grass, there is no reason for her not to dominate on the fastest surface, as well.
The kick serve is great for grass. It's magnified by bad bounces, the kick. Her big shots pay off better on grass than the other surfaces, other than maybe a fast court like in Australia this year. The sky's the limit. It's just a matter of putting in the time and getting more instinctual on the surface, that's all.
Especially grass, because you only have that one tournament. Maybe she needs to get on the grass during the year, not just before Wimbledon, to get more comfortable with it, so it's like coming home. We used to have two grass-court seasons, in Australia and at Wimbledon in Europe.
You had like two months on the surface, so six weeks. Now they have two to three weeks on it, and it shows up. They're not that comfortable on it. She needs the mileage on it. Game-wise there's not that much of an adjustment to make," Martina Navratilova said.