Naomi Osaka

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Naomi Osaka
Osaka turns nightmare into a dream to reach Australian Open third round
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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her second round match against France’s Caroline Garcia REUTERS/Loren Elliott MELBOURNE—Naomi Osaka dreamt that she would lose her second round match at the Australian Open but the reality was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory over Caroline Garcia on Wednesday. Garcia was unable to muster up a single break point over the contest as the Japanese third seed put in a rock-solid performance punctuated with 10 aces on a balmy evening on Rod Laver Arena. “Going into this match I was really nervous and I actually had a really bad dream about it,” Osaka told reporters. “For me, my dreams are very telling of the future. Like, usually I have dreams and they come true. Last night I had a dream that I lost this match, and I really didn’t feel good about it.” Frenchwoman Garcia, once ranked fourth in the world but now languishing at 43rd, can be a tricky opponent whose aggressive baseline game has helped her to six wins over top five players. Osaka said that where she might once have kept it to herself, she had discussed the dream with her team and that had helped her approach to the match. “I just thought that I’m not able to control what she’s going to do, and I can only control what I’m going to do,” she added. “I also think that’s the reason why I was serving so well, because theoretically serving is the one thing you can control in tennis.” 🚨 Intruder Alert 🚨@naomiosaka x @iga_swiatek #AO2021 | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/jQVZzyi8sA — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 10, 2021 Osaka, whose press conference was gatecrashed by French Open champion Iga Swiatek for a quick chat about flip flops, said she had a recurring tennis-related dream. “So usually I have this dream where I’m hitting a backhand rally with someone, and I hit the backhand into the net. And I wake up,” she said. “It’s always so intense, like the rally is always super intense. I would say that’s the most vivid like tennis-related dream I always have.” The U.S. Open champion, whose last defeat in a WTA tournament was to Coco Gauff in the third round at Melbourne Park last year, will next face Ons Jabeur. “She’s really funny and nice and I think the match I play against her will be really difficult, but I’m looking forward to it,” she smiled. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Electronic line judges make Grand Slam debut
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FILE – Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a lineswoman Laura Clark after inadvertently striking her with a ball hit in frustration during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP The days of tennis players arguing whether balls are in or out could be coming to a close, after the smooth introduction of electronic line judging at the Australian Open on Monday. Line calls have been at the centre of many a tennis conflagration, from John McEnroe’s “You cannot be serious” rant at Wimbledon in 1981 to Martina Hingis’s meltdown in the 1999 French Open final. But the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a major change, with human judges replaced by ball-tracking cameras to reduce the number of people on site at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka were among the players to give their seal of approval as the electronic system made its Grand Slam debut. The cameras are set up along each line and automatically announce their decisions in real time, with a recorded human voice calling “out”, “fault” and “foot fault”. “It’s interesting, It’s definitely different,” said 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams after powering into the second round. “I’m loving it here, so… I just needed to adapt, and now I’m adapted to it. I think it’s for the best.” “I think it’s not too much that can be wrong,” she added. “I think there can be some close calls that you can check, but I think it’s good.” The electronic calls feature pre-recorded voices of Australia’s front-line workers in the country’s pandemic response such as firefighters and other emergency response personnel. ‘No room for mistakes’ “I feel like for me, it saves me the trouble of attempting to challenge or thinking about did they call it correctly or not,” said Osaka. “It actually gets me really focused. I don’t mind it at all. “For me, I feel like if they do want to continue this way, I actually have no complaints about it because I think that there’s a lot of arguments that aren’t going to happen because of this technology.” US Open champion Dominic Thiem was another supporter, saying he found it easier with no scope for human error. “No offense at all, but there are just no mistakes happening, and that’s really good in my opinion because if the electronic call’s out, the ball is out, so there’s no room for mistakes at all,” said Thiem. “I think it’s a step in the right direction.” But veteran Venus Williams was more reticent about its long-term future, suggesting she prefered having humans on court. “I think the linespeople are also pretty accurate, too. They’re usually right on the money, so, it could be interesting to see where this goes,” said the 40-year-old. Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic also felt it deprived line judges from gaining big-match experience, which could impact grassroots tennis. “You need that for lower levels of tennis, at junior events, not necessarily being line judges but people that can organise the events, that can supervise the events, make sure they’re going the right way,” he said. “I think a lot of people pick up that experience. I think if you take out that grassroots aspect of it, how do you train those people?” Line judges have become embroiled in some notorious incidents in tennis, including when Williams unleashed on an official during her 2009 US Open semi-final defeat to Kim Clijsters. Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic was sensationally defaulted from last year’s US Open when he struck a loose ball that accidentally hit a lineswoman in the throat. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Naomi Osaka calls Mori’s remarks ‘ignorant’, mum on calls for resignation
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Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts during the women’s singles final against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the US Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Japan’s three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka on Saturday said that sexist comments by the head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee were “ignorant” but she refrained from calling on Yoshiro Mori to resign. The 83-year-old Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, said this week that women talked for too long in meetings. He later retracted and apologized for the comments he had made in a meeting with the Japan Olympic Committee but refused calls to resign. The comments set off a storm on social media at home and abroad, with a petition calling for action against Mori gathering tens of thousands of signatures on Friday, a day after its launch by Japanese activists. “I did look at the comments. I didn’t think they were good,” Osaka told a news conference in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on Monday. She said she wanted to hear the reasoning behind the remarks and the perspective of those around Mori. “I think if you’re in a position like that, you really should think before you say anything. I don’t know in what situation he said those things, but I think it’s really uninformed and a bit ignorant.” The 23-year-old Osaka, who was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother and was raised in the United States, is the poster girl of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She plans to represent Japan. The first Asian tennis player to be ranked world number one, Osaka has been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement both in Japan and the United States and was hailed last year for using her profile to advance the cause. “I’m a tennis player – what an interesting subject matter to be thrown,” Osaka said when asked to elaborate on Mori’s comments. “Do I think he should resign? “I think someone that makes comments like that, they need to have more knowledge on the thing that they’re talking about. I’m not sure if it’s a situation where someone should demand that he resigns or if it’s just something that people need to make him understand that what he said wasn’t right.” Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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