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Sports The Quiet Confidence of Naomi Osaka

15:31  22 january  2020
15:31  22 january  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

Osaka, Kvitova, Keys, Pliskova reach semifinals in Brisbane

  Osaka, Kvitova, Keys, Pliskova reach semifinals in Brisbane BRISBANE, Australia — Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys and defending champion Karolina Pliskova all reached the semifinals Friday at the Brisbane International. Osaka beat Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, Kvitova defeated qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-2, Keys beat Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-1 and Pliskova eliminated Alison Riske 7-6 (6), 6-3. Brady was coming off wins over Maria Sharapova in the first round and top-ranked Ash Barty in the second.© Provided by The Canadian PressKeys, a 2017 U.S. Open finalist, reached the semifinals in Brisbane for the first time in four attempts.

Naomi Osaka , the reigning Australian Open champion, was 14-1 entering this year’s first Grand Slam tournament after losing in the United States Open.Credit Osaka had spoken into a microphone what she has already made clear with her racket over the past two years: Underneath her quiet demeanor

Osaka had spoken into a microphone what she has already made clear with her racket over the past two years: Underneath her quiet demeanor, she has an assured confidence that has helped carry her to two Grand Slam titles. She may be soft-spoken in public, but she is also steely and determined.

a group of people performing on stage in front of a crowd: Naomi Osaka, the reigning Australian Open champion, was 14-1 entering this year’s first Grand Slam tournament after losing in the United States Open.© Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times Naomi Osaka, the reigning Australian Open champion, was 14-1 entering this year’s first Grand Slam tournament after losing in the United States Open.

MELBOURNE, Australia — As the reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka opened her season earlier this month, she checked herself as she expressed her goals for the rest of the year.

“I think just to try as hard as I can every match,” Osaka said. “Because for me, when I feel like I do that, I somehow end up winning the match, no matter what.” As she heard herself, her eyes widened. “Oh, that sounds really arrogant,” she said, clearly embarrassed.

Keys rallies to beat Kvitova in Brisbane

  Keys rallies to beat Kvitova in Brisbane BRISBANE, Australia — Madison Keys came from a break and set down to beat two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the Brisbane International semifinals on Saturday. The American won nine of 10 games in her mid-match recovery against the tournament's 2011 champion to beat Kvitova 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Keys will play defending Brisbane champion Karolina Pliskova in Sunday afternoon's final.Keys will play defending Brisbane champion Karolina Pliskova in Sunday afternoon's final. Pliskova beat defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka 6-7 (10), 7-6 (3), 6-2 after saving a match point.

Naomi Osaka (大坂 なおみ Japanese pronunciation: [o̞ːsäkä näo̞mʲi], Ōsaka Naomi , born October 16, 1997) is a professional tennis player who represents Japan.

Naomi Osaka , the reigning US champion, has endured a difficult season but is ready for the spotlight on her return to Flushing Meadows.

Osaka had spoken into a microphone what she has already made clear with her racket over the past two years: Underneath her quiet demeanor, she has an assured confidence that has helped carry her to two Grand Slam titles. She may be soft-spoken in public, but she is also steely and determined.

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Osaka, 22, showed that mettle most unmistakably during the 2018 United States Open final against Serena Williams, closing out a title even as Williams got into heated arguments with the umpire over penalties and the crowd booed what they felt was unfair treatment for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

She followed up that victory by winning the Australian Open last year. Now, as the No. 3 seed, Osaka has beaten 42nd-ranked Zheng Saisai in a second-round match, 6-2, 6-4, and she will face the 15-year-old phenom Coco Gauff in the next round.

Happy families: Osaka, Williams win openers in Australia

  Happy families: Osaka, Williams win openers in Australia MELBOURNE, Australia — Naomi Osaka won the tournament's opening match for her dad at the Australian Open. Serena Williams won hers for her daughter. The first two matches on centre court at the Australian Open were all about families for two champions. For something new, Osaka's father, Leonard Francois, was in the crowd watching as the defending champion reeled off the last four games after dropping serve for the only time to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4.© Provided by The Canadian PressNext up, Williams started her bid for a first major title as a mom when she beat 18-year-old Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-3.

Naomi Osaka after winning the United States Open in New York last year. Under Japanese law, Ms. Osaka , who has both Japanese and American citizenship, must decide between the two nationalities before she turns 22.Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times.

Osaka was born in Japan and represents the country as a tennis player, but she lives here in Florida, and her sense of style lands somewhere between the In any case, silence is no longer an option for Osaka : She has made too much noise with her racket. Last September, when she defeated Serena

Osaka’s first attempt at a Grand Slam title defense ended in the fourth round last year at the U.S. Open, where she lost to Belinda Bencic, an opponent who had beaten her twice previously in 2019. “There were moments where I accepted defeat and I was O.K. with it,” Osaka said this week. “After the match, I was just so disgusted with myself, because when I was a kid, I would dream to be in that position so I could fight to go to the finals and win it. But for me to like sit there and think that it’s O.K. to like lose in the fourth round is like kind of pathetic.”

It was after that match that Osaka told herself she would fight for every point. She entered the Australian Open with a 14-1 record since then, winning titles in Beijing and her birthplace of Osaka, Japan, in the fall. Her lone defeat since the U.S. Open came against second-ranked Karolina Pliskova in the Brisbane semifinals earlier this month, a match Pliskova won in three sets after fending off a match point for Osaka.

The Latest: Raonic advances to third round in Melbourne

  The Latest: Raonic advances to third round in Melbourne MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local): 7 p.m.Milos Raonic has set up a third-round featured match with Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas after beating Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at Melbourne Arena.The 2016 Wimbledon finalist had 11 of his 19 aces in the third set to complete his domination of the Chilean player.Tsitsipas took advantage of a walkover in his second-round match, advancing without hitting a ball when Phillip Kohlschreiber pulled out of their scheduled match because of a muscle strain.

Getty Naomi Osaka has a Japanese mother, a Haitian father, and a sister who is also a professional tennis player. Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player Osaka ’s sister, Mari, is a professional tennis player. Together, the two sisters represent the three cultures they were raised with: American

If Osaka hasn’t changed, the expectations for her have. She’ll enter the Australian Open ranked As Naomi started winning, it deepened her determination. “Once she puts her focus on something, she Osaka generally prefers to keep hidden. “Everyone around me has more confidence in me than I do

On the court, Osaka has thrived by turning one of her weaknesses into a strength. A shoulder injury forced her out of the year-end championships in Shenzhen, China, but since then she has been hitting more aces than usual, maximizing her serves to make the most of each use of her shoulder. “I feel like every serve that I serve should count,” she said, “and it’s been working out really well.”

She also arrived in Melbourne with a new guide: the coach Wim Fissette, a Belgian who coached Kim Clijsters and Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam titles, and also worked with other top players, including Simona Halep.

Fissette said Osaka set herself apart by setting her goals so high. “I’ve worked with many top-10 players but there’s a big difference in ambition; you would expect it all to be the same, but it’s not,” Fissette said.

“With a player like Naomi, you go to tournaments to win them, not to play finals or semifinals,” Fissette added. “That’s the ambition, and I love that ambition. I love working under pressure.”

Fissette said he found Osaka to be more tactical than he had expected. And while others would try to avoid pressure at the top of the sport, Osaka has embraced her status as a favorite, he said. “Some players, they really need to be an underdog,” Fissette said. “Others, are like her; she doesn’t want to be in an underdog position, because she feels she’s the best out there.”

The Latest: Serena Williams into 3rd round in Australia

  The Latest: Serena Williams into 3rd round in Australia MELBOURNE, Australia — The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local): 8:40 p.m. Serena Williams moved a step closer in her bid for a record 24th major title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tamara Zidansek to reach the third round at the Australian Open. Williams won the last of her seven Australian Open titles in 2017, but hasn't added a major championship since then. She took time off the tour to have her daughter, Olympia, and has lost four Grand Slam finals in the last two seasons. Her title in Auckland, New Zealand recently was her first at tour-level in almost three years.

With two consecutive Grand Slam titles and a world number-one ranking, the soft-spoken 21-year-old Naomi Osaka is making a furious noise with her racket.

Rise of Naomi Osaka 03:07. But the added burden of responsibility, expectation and demands on her time appear The Osaka family moved from Japan to New York when Naomi was three, but the tennis star identifies as Osaka comes across as quiet and shy in interviews, a far cry from the powerful

a person wearing a hat: Osaka beat Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.© Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times Osaka beat Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.

By hiring Fissette, Osaka broke up a pattern of hiring people who had previously worked with the Williams sisters. And Fissette has coached players to five wins over Serena Williams in the last 11 years, more than any individual player has earned against her on the court.

Osaka has looked up to Williams since she started in the sport as a girl (“I said, ‘I want to be like her,’” Osaka said in 2018 as she described a report she had done on Williams in third grade). Last week, Osaka posted a photo of herself with Williams on Instagram as they sat together during an exhibition for Australian fire relief. She captioned it: “me and my mom lol.”

Williams, who has not always taken kindly to the young players who have made star turns by beating her at Grand Slams, responded with heart emojis to Osaka, whom she first met in 2014. “I have always had some sort of admiration for her, because I met her when she was super, super young,” Williams said of Osaka. “It was really cool to see her grow from that age to No. 1 and multi-Grand-Slam champion. I thought the picture was cute, so I felt like I should like it and comment on it — definitely not the mom, though.”

Naomi Osaka swinging a racket at a ball: Osaka training with Coach Wim Fissette on Tuesday.© Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times Osaka training with Coach Wim Fissette on Tuesday.

Osaka said she still felt star-struck around Williams and other tennis stars, and characterized her interactions with Williams as one-directional. “I’m going to have to give you a briefing of how I am as a person,” Osaka said during the Australian Open draw when asked about Williams. “I don’t talk to people; I just stare at them from a distance. That’s lesson No. 1. Lesson No. 2 is that if I were to talk to Serena, she talks to me and I get surprised that she talks to me, and then I don’t talk back.”

One space where Osaka has been increasingly comfortable expressing herself is in documenting her fashion choices on Instagram. “It’s really weird because people have been telling me they really like my fashion sense,” Osaka said. “Honestly, I’m very sorry, but that’s way more of a compliment than when people tell me they like my tennis.”

Youth served: Gauff wins, Serena loses at Australian Open .
MELBOURNE, Australia — Perhaps Serena Williams, now 38, will win a 24th Grand Slam title someday. And maybe Coco Gauff, still just 15, never will earn her first major championship. Sure felt, though, as if a generational shift was being signalled Friday at the Australian Open, with a pair of monumentally significant third-round results hours apart in the same stadium: a surprising first-week loss by Williams, then a historic victory by Gauff. © Provided by The Canadian PressFirst, Williams faltered down the stretch for her earliest exit at Melbourne Park in 14 years, a 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 loss to 27th-seeded Wang Qiang of China.

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