Naomi Osaka: Playing Style | Stats | Game Analysis | US Open 2021
Naomi Osaka is a trailblazer in women’s tennis. The 23-year-old is a 4-time grand slam champion and also the current World number 3.
The US Open is set to commence from August 30 to September 12, 2021 as Naomi Osaka is the cynosure of all eyes ahead of the final grand slam this season.
Sportco takes a look at the former World Number 1, Naomi Osaka and her achievements on the court, her launch of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), and her strong support for mental health.
Naomi Osaka: Game Analysis
The right-hander is an accomplished hard-court player and has clinched the US Open twice (2018 and 2020).
The Next-Gen sensation has a 17-5 win-loss record in 2021. The Japanese has a strong first serve and has won 74.7% of her first-serve points this year.
Osaka’s consistency is surreal, to say the least. On average, she has won 77.1% of service games in 22 matches in 2021. This has proved to be the turning point in pressure situations against equally talented pros.
The Japanese must improve her breakpoint conversion rate of 47%. Her form is also shaky at the moment ahead of the big tournament in New York. Naomi Osaka lost to Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann in 3 sets in the pre-quarters.
The 23-year-old committed 7 double faults and had a poor second-serve winning percentage of 38.1% when compared to Teichmann’s 54.3%.
More than the tough defeat, Osaka will be concerned with the loss of momentum after winning the first set. This may affect her chances in New York. She will also get greater pressure with the tag of being the defending champion.
An overview of how Naomi Osaka has performed in the US Open
|2016||Third Round - lost to the 8th seed Madison Keys in 3 sets|
|2017||Third Round - Unseeded Kaia Kanepi defeated her in another 3-setter|
|2018||20th seed Osaka stunned 17th seeded Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 in the final|
|2019||13th seed Belinda Bencic defeated top seed Osaka 7-5 6-4 in 4th round|
|2020||4th seed Naomi wins the title again by beating Victoria Azarenka in 3 sets|
How has Naomi Osaka been pioneering mental health issues?
Naomi Osaka made heads turn when she pulled out of her second-round match against Ana Bogdan at French Open 2021. This was because the organizers forced her to give press conferences despite her reluctance.
The officials at Roland Garros along with the remaining 3 grand slams also warned the Japanese star that she may face a default from the tournament or get suspended for breaking the official protocol.
In a positive development, the US Tennis Association (USTA) are offering players access to licensed mental health care experts and sports medicine professionals.
Participants at the 4th grand slam of the year will also receive access to quiet rooms. This would lead to de-stigmatizing mental health concerns, greater well-being for the tennis professionals, and eventually better performance on the court.
Naomi Osaka comes out with her NFT collection
Crypto collectibles are the newest financial assets offering high returns to athletes, fans, and investors.
As a trendsetter in the booming sports industry, Naomi Osaka launched her own NFT series on Autograph.io, an online trading platform.
Tennis enthusiasts can purchase the 10 pre-season access passes and get exclusive digital ownership.
The number of editions of the Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) varies between 12 and 5000. Buyers get access to valuable trading cards along with an official autograph of Naomi Osaka.
Interestingly, the Japanese pro has joined several other tennis players who launched digital collectibles. It includes the likes of Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Donna Vekic, and Jessica Pegula.
Can Naomi Osaka defend her US Open title?
As a revolutionary figure of the game, Naomi Osaka will attract huge attention in New York. The multiple-time grand slam champion is not in her best form this year after her unexpected withdrawal from the French Open and her absence at Wimbledon.
The defending champion has every weapon to go all the way in Flushing Meadows. Of course, the critics and 100% operating capacity at the stadiums would influence her performance.