Naomi Osaka restarts 2020 season with a win over tough cookie Karolina Muchova

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Fourth seed Naomi Osaka of Japan rose to the challenge in her first match since the COVID-19 layoff and overcame the always-tricky Czech Karolina Muchova 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 to advance to the third round of the Western & Southern Open.

The former world No.1 didn’t get an opportunity to slowly adjust to competition, as she faced a really tough opponent already in her opening match. After narrowly losing the first set, Osaka established early leads in both the second and third sets and held on to them by never having her serve broken during the battle that lasted two hours and 33 minutes.

When it comes to winner-to-unforced-errors differential, Osaka and Muchova were almost equal, +1 to 0 in favor of the two-time Grand Slam champion.

Muchova may have been an unwelcome opponent so early in the tournament, but now that Osaka has passed the big test, we can say that the Czech world No.26 was an excellent opponent for properly kicking off her preparation for the US Open.

In the post-match interview, the tenth-ranked Osaka said that she did use the extra time during the forced off-season to work on some elements of her game and that we’ll hopefully see the results in the coming weeks. Moreover, Osaka revealed that she was very nervous in today’s match, especially in the beginning, but she was glad that she managed to use her opportunities. (photo: Jimmie48)


6 COMMENTS

  1. I think Osaka’s game style is risky n dangerous, she has strong groundies from both wings, but maybe she needs to be more consistant, not forcing her shots hitting it hard all the time..

    Can we talk about Osaka’s outfit too? Is it the same as the AO but in dark version?
    I love that Nike customize outfit for her like Serena n Maria’s…

  2. Ian, good that you’ve brought up the question of the outfit. You’re right, it is the same as her AO dress, with that huge slit on the left side, just some dark greyish, navish version. And Serena was in that one-piece suit. Do you think they will wear the same at the US Open? I hate it that Nike is not giving us official announcements for their custom kits.

  3. Nike court used to give many previews thru Youtube, blogs and etc for the players slams outfit, now theres barely any updates from them.
    Thats why i am constantly going thru your blog Marija! #ForeverFans

    I believe Nike has fresh new designs for both Naomi and Serena. for the open.
    Probably traditional custom dresses for Naomi, and she is probably gonna rock the new GP Turbo for kicks in new vibrant color.
    Knowing Serena these days, it will be unexpected outfit for her, probably another cat suit, or something insane like strapless dress or something. Crop top and shorts. We will never know till she walk in to the court. And I think Serena is sticking with the flare 2 for the shoes? Last years I saw her still using the Mirabella 3, again unexpected from the GOAT.

  4. Ian, first of all, thank you for being such a loyal reader!

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard for such a large company to write a few press releases a year. Their benefits would certainly far outweigh their efforts. Nike’s news page has like three updates a year. The last tennis collection they properly promoted was the 2020 Australian Open one and you don’t have to scroll down much to get to updates from 2016 lol.

    You think that Serena and Naomi will introduce new outfits at the US Open? I thought they could be wearing what they’re wearing now at the W&S Open, as other Nike players have already launched their new looks. As for the shoes, both Tennis Warehouse and Nike list the Flare 2 model as Serena’s shoe.

  5. Well if they were going to wear the cincy outfits for USO, then there should be the day n night version of the dresses right (both Naomi n Serena’s) ?
    Plus it would be too little of publicity for Nike if they were to wear the same thing for 2 major tournaments!

  6. Ian, hm I suppose you’re right because there are no day and night versions of outfits at “Cincinnati”. Maybe they will reveal something in the coming days. Sometimes Nike does show their outfits in advance, at the last minute.

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