Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday March 9, 2024

Indian Wells – She’s just eight months removed from giving birth to her daughter, but already four-time major and 2018 BNP Paribas Open champion and former World No.1 Naomi Osaka is looking like a player who may be destined to return to the top of the game.

Tennis Express

Osaka made a statement on Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as she outpaced No.15-seeded Liudmila Samsonova in a hard-hitting battle of heavyweight ball strikers to win 7-5, 6-3, and advance to the third round, where Elise Mertens waits.

Osaka has made a point of working on her returns, and getting more comfortable in difficult situations on the court, and she looked good in both regards on Saturday as she excelled in the tense moments and navigated a very tricky opening set in which she went from a break up to a break down and eventually won the final three games to close it out.

“Definitely I think match play is really important for me and just getting in certain situations and not feeling like I'm unsure of what to do,” she said. “But I definitely felt like I was more confident today with the set point and just kind of trusting myself and knowing that no matter what happens, go for my shots and don't live life with regret.”

Osaka struck the ball with purpose, and converted four of her seven break points.

Her always solid second serve was just that, as she won 67 of second-serve points and eventually got through the challenge of the dangerous Russian with relative ease.

It wasn’t her most dominant form, but given the fact that the 26-year-old is barely two months into her comeback, it has to be considered a major success – the smile on her face at match point told that story.

“I just want to have a lot more fun on the court,” Osaka reflected. “In Australia I was really hard on myself and I found myself not really celebrating just being on the court. So I think in this tournament, I just really wanted to emphasize that I don't expect myself to win every match, but I want to have fun and enjoy the moments, while I can.”