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‘Disaster’: Concerns for Naomi Osaka as clay court misery continues

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Naomi Osaka’s French Open hopes are in tatters after a shock first-up loss at the Italian Open on Wednesday.

In a day of carnage at the clay-court event, Osaka joined Serena Williams and Simona Halep in exiting the tournament.

The World No.2 suffered her latest stumble on clay – her least favourite surface – beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 by Australian Open quarter-finalist Jessica Pegula.

Playing just her third tournament since winning the Australian Open in February, Osaka struggled to fight her way back into the match after losing the first-set tie-break to her 31st-ranked opponent.

The Japanese star also crashed out in the second round of the Madrid Open earlier this month.

Sam Goodwin
Sam Goodwin·Sports Editor
Thu, 13 May 2021, 1:48 am·4-min read
Naomi Osaka, pictured here during her loss at the Italian Open.
Naomi Osaka looks a shadow of her usual self on clay. Image: Getty
Naomi Osaka’s French Open hopes are in tatters after a shock first-up loss at the Italian Open on Wednesday.

In a day of carnage at the clay-court event, Osaka joined Serena Williams and Simona Halep in exiting the tournament.

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The World No.2 suffered her latest stumble on clay – her least favourite surface – beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 by Australian Open quarter-finalist Jessica Pegula.

Playing just her third tournament since winning the Australian Open in February, Osaka struggled to fight her way back into the match after losing the first-set tie-break to her 31st-ranked opponent.

The Japanese star also crashed out in the second round of the Madrid Open earlier this month.

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“I’m not sure if I should be telling you this, but I’m just not that comfortable on (clay),” Osaka said before her loss in Rome.

“I’m not sure if it’s because I need to play longer on it or if I just haven’t grown up on it.”

Osaka has seven career hard-court titles and won four grand slams (two each at the Australian Open and US Open), but has never managed to lift a clay-court trophy.

Her best result at the French Open is the third round.

“Mentally it’s a bit harder because you have to structure the points differently,” she said about playing on clay.

“There are bad bounces and stuff. I get quite frustrated. So, yeah, mentally I think it’s a bit more taxing.

“But I think as soon as I get that sort of block out of my mind, then I’ll be more open to the mistakes.

“Right now, I’m taking everything as a learning process, and I’m trying not to be so hard on myself.”

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Rafael Nadal pays tribute to Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova, a tennis star who has also become one of the wealthiest and most famous athletes of the 21st century, decided to announce her retirement from tennis at the age of 32. Her last appearance on the tennis court dates back to the first round of the Australian Open, when she was defeated 6-3 6-4 by Donna Vekic.

During her extraordinary career, the Russian has won five Slam titles, with the unforgettable triumph at Wimbledon in 2004 at 17 years old, when she beat the world number 1 in Serena Williams in a tough final. “She’s worked really hard from a very young age to achieve her goals.

It’s a sad day because an icon is leaving, a reference in women’s sports. She’s given a lot to tennis. Above all, she’s been an example of passion for the sport,” Rafael Nadal said after his match against Miomir Kecmanovic.

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“I’ve always admired the way Nadal has fought through all the injuries he’s had. He is the greatest example of that, ” Sharapova said in an interview. Masha has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated S******t Issue.

She has appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, and has been the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. According to Forbes, she has been named highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned pro in 2001.

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Sharapova:Nice to have more time to relax,catch up with loved ones, focus on business

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Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova, of Russia, says she feels lucky to be spending time at home in California with her parents during the current lockdown and has been doing trying out different activities at home as well as for her workouts.

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Maria Sharapova on how she has been spending her time during the lockdown
In an interview to People magazine, Sharapova spoke about how she has been enjoying the time she has spent at home. “When I was competing, I’d only get to spend a few weeks of the year at home, so it’s been nice to have more time to relax, catch up with loved ones and focus on my businesses.

As much as I love to travel, not having to rush off to the next tournament has been really nice.” Like many other people, the Russian says she has been spending a lot of time in the kitchen as well, trying out different activities.

“We’ve been spending almost all of our time in the kitchen — cooking meals and baking treats, and at one point, we even pulled out an ice cream machine, which I hadn’t even taken out of the box for years.

We even started growing our own garden out back — so you know things are getting serious!” While she says she has played tennis a few times with her friends since her retirement earlier this year for fun, she has been trying to keep physically fit by trying out outdoor activities such as boxing or hiking – which can be seen from her Instagram feed in recent weeks.

A former World No. 1 in singles, Sharapova is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slam singles titles at least once). She won the silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and announced her retirement from the sport in January this year after the Australian Open.

During her professional career, Maria Sharapova won 36 WTA singles titles and 3 WTA doubles titles in all. The Russian is one of the most popular players from the tennis world and was named the highest paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years during her playing career. (Picture from the Twitter account of Maria Sharapova)

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Maria Sharapova: “That’s why I never took US citizenship”

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With her $ 38 million earned over the course of her career, former WTA number one Maria Sharapova is third in this special ranking: only Serena and Venus Williams are ahead of her, with $ 93 million and $ 41 million respectively.

Holder of five Grand Slam titles, a trophy at the Finals and a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics, Maria left the world of professional tennis in January last year, after losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Croatian Donna Vekic.

Today, the young Russian has embarked on a career as a very successful entrepreneur, she who had already owned the famous Sugarpova candy line for some years.

Sharapova’s love for art and high-luxury jewelry
In a recently published Instagram story, the champion shared a Vogue Magazine article about the Italian Elsa Peretti, a well-known internationally renowned designer who unfortunately passed away in recent days, writing: “With my first cash check from tournaments I collected the pieces created by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany,” adding the emoticon of a sad face and a broken heart.

Sharapova, who has always been interested in the world of high fashion and business, has repeatedly stressed the importance of her travels around the world for the growth of her passion in the world of art, including in the field of architecture.

As published by EssentiallySports, among others, Maria once claimed to have taken numerous photographs of the buildings designed by the designer duo Frank-Perry, because she was attracted by their appearance, how different they are and the fact that they are usually placed in comparison with the old architecture, there is something so new and different about them.

The last Slam success of the Siberian came at Roland Garros 2014: the Russian beat Ksenija Pervak, Tsvetana Pironkova, Paula Ormaechea, Samantha Stosur, Garbine Muguruza, Eugenie Bouchard and the Romanian Simona Halep in the final, beaten with a score of 6 -4 6-7 6-4.

Maria made history for winning the Wimbledon tournament at the age of only 17, the second youngest player ever in the Open era after Martina Hingis to win Wimbledon and for winning all 4 Grand Slam events, tenth tennis player in history to succeed in such a goal.

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