After a fantastic end and an equally good beginning to the year 2021, Naomi Osaka runs the risk of slowly fading away in the clay court swing of the season. The US Open and Australian Open champion Osaka came back to court after an extended break post her Australian Open triumph. Her return was on the hardcourts of Miami which are traditionally slow surfaces. Slow surfaces usually do not suit Osaka and she didn’t manage to move beyond the Quarter-finals.
Next up for Osaka was the clay courts of Madrid. Now the clay courts really exposed Osaka’s lack of a defensive game and her own lack of belief in her game on this surface. She got ousted in the second round by world no.20 Karolina Muchova, in a three set contest which she lost 4-6 6-3 1-6.
Play Academy with Naomi Osaka starts a new chapter in Los Angeles
Off the court Naomi Osaka has been shining bright. The tennis superstar who has always taken up social issues, added another feather to her cap when her ‘Play with Naomi Osaka’ endeavor moved beyond the Japanese borders into the beautiful city of Los Angeles in America.
For those of you who don’t know, ‘Play with Naomi Osaka’ is a paid partnership with Laureus Sport for Good and Nike with the mission to help young girls receive more opportunities to benefit from play and sport.
Play Academy right now is still seeking community partners in Los Angeles, and aiming to focus on girl athletes from Black, Asian and Latino communities. The first group of the new Play Academy partners will be announced summer 2021.