In the same tournament in which Rafael Nadal will return to the field after the injury to his side, positive news also arrives in Madrid in the women's event. Yes, because Naomi Osaka's return to high levels can only make the whole WTA circuit smile for having found a champion who now seems to have come out of that terrible tunnel of depression that has gripped her in recent years.
After reaching her first final of a WTA 1000 category tournament in Miami (later lost to Iga Swiatek) a few weeks ago, the Japanese tennis player made her debut at the tournament in the Spanish capital, conceding only 4 games to the Russian Anastasija Potapova and throwing very positive signs.
The Japanese tennis player at the press conference finally said she was calm and mentally free, as well as making some statements about the tennis players she is inspired by.
Naomi Osaka: "I'm having fun again"
Osaka reflected on the current state of form, showing that she has now put the dark moment behind her: "I'm trying to be more positive about myself.
I came to Madrid a week earlier because I wanted to prepare well for the tournament, I want to give myself opportunities to improve. I have recovered something that I did before every game at the US Open 2020 and which is to say thank you for all that life has given me, to remind me of how lucky I am to be here and to have the team that I have around me," revealed the Japanese tennis player.
The four-time slam champion then said she was inspired by her colleagues Nadal and Swiatek to improve on clay: "I'm trying to take inspiration from Rafa and Iga's clay court game to understand when it's best to turn around to hit forehand, when it's best to play backhand balls and ultimately how to move around the court and choose shots.
A lot of strong hitters do it very well and I want to learn. Honestly, I think I can perform better on both clay and grass, which is a scary surface for me. I feel I can do well here, but I have to think one game at a time because there are a lot of top players," said Osaka.
The Japanese tennis player concluded by saying that compared to last year she is finally back to having fun: "Last year I spent the whole tournament locked in my room, I didn't do anything. Now I want to explore the city, in these days I have visited some areas that I loved, with vintage clothes shops and sneakers.
I'm having fun again, even on the court. I didn't expect to play on the central today and it was a really good experience. The game may seem easy, but I had to make a lot of adjustments and I enjoyed it," revealed a now serene Osaka.