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Mark Petchey’s comments on Naomi Osaka for doubting fans

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mark petchey’s comments on naomi osaka
Naomi Osaka at the 2024 Qatar Open. Photo/Sky SPorts
  • Mark Petchey’s comments on Naomi Osaka have given hope to her fans
  • Petchey, a tennis analyst, claims that Osaka is in proper form
  • Osaka, a former world No.1 missed the 2023 tennis season due to the birth of her first child

Mark Petchey’s comments on Naomi Osaka have given hope to her fans who feel she is out of physical form for the game.

Petchey, a tennis analyst, claims that Osaka is in proper form and that her performance at the Australian Open caused many to write her off too soon.

Osaka, a former world No.1 missed the 2023 tennis season due to the birth of her first child, a daughter named Shai.  She resumed in the 2024 season and there was so much hope among her fans that she could win another Grand Slam in Melbourne.

However, she didn’t and it left her fans with a lot of questions about what the future looks like for them. Petchey now says that Osaka poses a threat to the remainder of the WTA Tour because some quarters have written her off.

Why are People Writing Off Naomi Osaka?

mark petchey’s comments on naomi osaka

Naomi Osaka at the 2024 Qatar Open. Photo/CNN

The Japanese tennis player lost to Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6(2) in the Australian Open 2024 first round.  She left the tournament in the first round, just as her followers were beginning to have hope in her.

Garcia tested Osaka, who hadn’t played in more than a season, with his strong baseline play and powerful serve.

Former world No.1 Martina Navratilova criticised her performance grading it a ‘C’ stating that Osaka returned to the court too soon before achieving proper physical form.

She said it was evident the mother of one is out of shape. Navratilova said that Osaka’s competitive spirit was hindered by her subpar physical condition.

“Tennis-wise, it was maybe a B-plus performance. But overall a C, because she couldn’t get to the ball that she wants to hit because she is not in shape,” she told Tennis Channel.

“I am surprised that she started playing, that she got on the tour that she played this tournament without clearly being in the tip-top shape she needs to be in order to put herself in the position to hit the big, big balls. She was stretched out way too much and the fact that she didn’t have a breakpoint tells you all you need to know about that match,” she added.

Navratilova argued that Osaka’s status as a mother should not be seen as the cause of her underperformance in Melbourne.

The tennis icon, who won 18 Grand Slams, gave an example of tennis player Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina. She set a precedent for female players by returning to the sport after childbirth and impressed everyone with her physical condition.

Navratilova advised Osaka to prioritize her fitness before pursuing further Grand Slam titles.

Mark Petchey’s Comments on Naomi Osaka

Despite her false start, Osaka made a strong comeback at the 2024 Qatar Open where she reached the quarter-final before losing to Karoline Pliskova.

She moved up 461 spots in the WTA Rankings after the performance, and she is currently at No. 286.

Petchey thinks the former world No.1 still has a lot more in store for her fans.

“I thought people were too quick to get down on Naomi after that loss,” he told the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast.

naomi osaka exit from australian open

Naomi Osaka. Photo/Firstpost

They already wrote her down on natural surfaces, probably they were thinking it was the US Open and I was like, ‘No, she looked good, she just didn’t have the time on the ball because Caroline [Garcia] played great’.

However, Petchey expressed his delight pointing out that she proved she that she is in good shape to get back to the top. This makes her a lethal tennis player.

“I’m delighted that she has bounced back quickly to win those matches. She’s in good shape. I don’t mean that as physical, I mean she’s in good shape hitting the ball, physically, mentally, she looks happy, I think she’s going to be a danger.”

Osaka will now play at BNP Paribas Open popularly known as the Indian Wells Open in March. She withdrew from Dubai Open scheduled for next week to rejuvenate.

Her intention this year is to play in many tournaments as she can, perhaps to boost her WTA ranking and it has worked so far.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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