French Open: Osaka Struggles on Clay, Anisimova Powers Forward

But Osaka is unsure, though she might head to Berlin to play within the new grass-court occasion there that can rely towards her rating.

“As a whole, I feel like I’m going to stop telling myself that I’m bad on these surfaces,” she mentioned of grass and clay, “and instead just keep my head down and keep working really hard, because I think that’s what I’ve been doing this whole year. I can’t expect everything to, like, come at once. So hopefully, gradually I will have the results that I want.”

For now, she has 4 Grand Slam singles titles, all on hardcourts, the newest on the 2021 Australian Open about 16 months in the past. The pecking order is shifting and never in her favor. After breaking down in tears midmatch on the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., in March after a heckler rattled her in a second-round defeat, she bounced again to succeed in the ultimate of the Miami Open, the place Swiatek trounced her, 6-4, 6-0.

Osaka, who performs for Japan and relies within the United States, stays one of many greatest stars in sports activities and the highest-paid feminine athlete on this planet by a big margin. She has sufficient profitable long-term sponsorship offers to justify not too long ago breaking away from IMG to begin her personal administration company with Stuart Duguid, her agent.

But Osaka will probably be ranked round No. 40 on this planet after Roland Garros, and although her portfolio seems to be redwood stable, how does it have an effect on the underside line and place within the sports activities panorama if a youthful participant like Swiatek takes true command of the game and youthful, maybe hungrier gamers like Anisimova proceed to outmuscle Osaka early in main tournaments?

To what diploma, within the social media age, do outcomes and superstar must proceed aligning after the thousands and thousands of followers are already acquired?

Osaka, left ankle wrapped, appeared genuinely intent on altering her luck on Monday, digging into the corners and sustaining constructive power practically till the tip. But Anisimova was extra constant on serve and extra devastating from the baseline and, above all, on returns.

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