Osaka News

I just saw NHK TV news. Osaka was the first headline news. Osaka's grandfather, in Hokkaido prefecture, was being interviewed, he said, "I thought she looked so cute but lonely and sad... I was about to cry. But I'm very proud of what my granddaughter has achieved".
 
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Her press conference was hilarious, she was half asleep. She's definitely a genuine (dorky) 21 year old.
She needs to get some help with public speaking, she is going to be winning a lot of trophies & I have never seem anybody look so uncomfortable & unhappy on the podium. She has a lot of marketability but will struggle to maximise it with those promos & demeanour. The ball-kids looked happier than her at the end.
 
I just saw NHK TV news. Osaka was the first headline news. Osaka's grandfather, in Hokkaido prefecture, was being interviewed, he said, "I thought she looked so cute but lonely and sad... I was about to cry. But I'm very proud of what my granddaughter has achieved".
This is the same man who disowned his daughter when she married a black man?
 
Yup, her father approached the USTA several times over the years asking for support. They offered pretty much nothing so he then asked the Japanese federation and they offered her full support after evaluating her. At that same point in time the USTA Player Development people made the decision to throw full support behind Ci Ci Bellis instead. Guess those decisions did not work out as they intended.
Is it accurate to say that the USTA offered nothing? My impression (could be wrong) is that they offered help but Mr Francois wanted more, and Japan came through. Perfectly understandable on all sides: a country the size of the US can't toss tons of money on every one of the hundreds of promising youngsters. Japan has fewer opportunities.
 
She needs to get some help with public speaking, she is going to be winning a lot of trophies & I have never seem anybody look so uncomfortable & unhappy on the podium. She has a lot of marketability but will struggle to maximise it with those promos & demeanour. The ball-kids looked happier than her at the end.
Did you watch the press? She answered the question regarding public speaking. IMO its something different to the always PC answers.
 

Wander

Professional
Is it accurate to say that the USTA offered nothing? My impression (could be wrong) is that they offered help but Mr Francois wanted more, and Japan came through. Perfectly understandable on all sides: a country the size of the US can't toss tons of money on every one of the hundreds of promising youngsters. Japan has fewer opportunities.
There was an article on the Wall Street Journal that said that USTA did eventually offer to support Naomi when she was 16 but by that time she was long since committed to the Japan Tennis Federation.

But let's be honest, it is more or less impossible to tell which kid is going to be the next big thing when they are 10-15 years old. Chris Evert saw Naomi, Sloane, Madison and others practice at the same facility when they were teenagers and said that Naomi, at the time, did not stand out:
"She had a lot of raw talent and she hit the ball a ton, but she wasn't moving and she was making a lot of errors."
 
There was an article on the Wall Street Journal that said that USTA did eventually offer to support Naomi when she was 16 but by that time she was long since committed to the Japan Tennis Federation.

But let's be honest, it is more or less impossible to tell which kid is going to be the next big thing when they are 10-15 years old. Chris Evert saw Naomi, Sloane, Madison and others practice at the same facility when they were teenagers and said that Naomi, at the time, did not stand out:
"She had a lot of raw talent and she hit the ball a ton, but she wasn't moving and she was making a lot of errors."
Still not exactly a source that they offered nothing.

Naomi never played juniors and never won a tournament at the ITF or WTA125 level. Per Wikipedia, her first title of any kind was Indian Wells last year.

So yeah, it's understandable that nobody saw her potential. Also fair to say that it wasn't really the Japanese money that made the difference - it was Sascha Bajin.
 
Since Justin Henin retired in 2008, no woman other than Serena Williams has won more than 3 majors and the ones who have won majors other than Serena have been extremely inconsistent players. I think this weak era has finally come to an end with the arrival of Naomi Osaka, who brings talent to spare and a strong mindset. The likes of Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, and Simona Halep are talented, but they just aren't near the class of the all-time greats. I predict Osaka will be and will win quite a few majors to come. Serena will retire in the next couple of years, and Naomi is set to become one of the biggest faces of women's tennis.
 
Since Justin Henin retired in 2008, no woman other than Serena Williams has won more than 3 majors and the ones who have won majors other than Serena have been extremely inconsistent players. I think this weak era has finally come to an end with the arrival of Naomi Osaka, who brings talent to spare and a strong mindset. The likes of Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, and Simona Halep are talented, but they just aren't near the class of the all-time greats. I predict Osaka will be and will win quite a few majors to come. Serena will retire in the next couple of years, and Naomi is set to become one of the biggest faces of women's tennis.
Of all of this I just hope she remains the same likeable personality and hope they don't train her body to look like SW or Sam Stosur.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Naomi's calmness under pressure, especially her ability to ride through and recover from a sticky spell, is just amazing. Her athleticism and mobility is also a huge strength alongside her serve and groundstrokes.

Numerous players have struggled with the increased recognition and expectation on their shoulders after winning their first grand slams titles (i.e. going from the hunter to the hunted), but not Naomi.
 
Obviously credit to the champ herself yada yada, but can anyone else think of such a dramatic improvement so easily traced to a coach?
Also Goran Ivanisevic did well with Cilic and now Raonic. On the ladies tour, I'm not sure who has had equal success, I want to say Torben Beltz but he's been with her even before her 2016 grand slam wins. And how about Ivan Ljubicic and Roger Federer?
 
Now when I say this guy is a decent man & a coach, you should believe. Very few coaches became as big name in the sport (for the good reasons) as best athletes.

One of the best press conferences for a coach, be patient and watch it completely...it deserves(y).

 
I hear that Japan still isn't embracing her as much as they would do with Kei Nishikori. That was expected. She still will get plenty of endorsements to make her rich and her family and friends set for life. If Kei won 2 majors by now, he would probably be made emperor of japan.
 
The most exciting thing about Naomi is that she's still not the finished product.
She still has some maturing to do, which I think this tournament will go a long way to help with. Overcoming tricky players like Hsieh and Sevastova will give her a lot of much needed confidence. She needs more wins over players like Kerber, Woz, Pliskobot, Elina - once she's beaten them a few times I think she will be almost unbeatable.
 
The most exciting thing about Naomi is that she's still not the finished product.
She still has some maturing to do, which I think this tournament will go a long way to help with. Overcoming tricky players like Hsieh and Sevastova will give her a lot of much needed confidence. She needs more wins over players like Kerber, Woz, Pliskobot, Elina - once she's beaten them a few times I think she will be almost unbeatable.
That match was quite the jam.

Indeed, she has such clear strengths already, but is (hopefully) not yet close to the finished product. Selective patience is something she can especially work on against tricky and savvy players and she can lose control quickly at times because of the game she plays. There's still plenty for her to gain in the forecourt and on the second serve. She's learning on the fly real quick though and the way she spoke about not being satisfied as such after winning the AO bodes well I'd say - has the perfectionist attitude and will continue to make her game more wholesome. Doubt she'll be resting on her laurels, but as a player who is still to become a perennial winner (3 titles) there will be plenty of lessons along the way before she becomes the best version of herself. Looking forward to seeing her evolution. She's the target now - gotta be a moving target.
 
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