Tennis Forum banner

What is Osaka potential on grass ?

  • She will win Wimbledon more than once

    Votes: 9 25.7%
  • She will win Wimbledon once

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • She will win Wimbledon once only if she works hard on her grass game

    Votes: 11 31.4%
  • She will win one or more tournaments on grass but not Wimbledon (maybe a final or semis at best)

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • She will never win a tournament on grass

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • She's a lost cause on grass

    Votes: 6 17.1%
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the thread about her loss to Muchova, many posters claimed/reminded how hopeless Naomi is on clay and how hard it’s gonna be for her to adapt her game to this surface, as far as saying she should skip clay season but also GRASS SEASON.

I admit, I have never seen her play on grass but I wonder why many think she could not be good on grass with assets like her strong serve and raw power. So I looked at her past performances :

In 2020, zero win ! Ah, yes, grass season was canceled.

2019 : 1W - 2L
She won her only match against Sakkari before losing twice to Putintseva in Birmingham and Wimbledon.

2018 : 6W – 3L
Semis in Birmingham where she lost to Barty, #1 seed and eventual champion. Then a R2 in Birmingham where she retired against Jakupovic. Finally and notably, she made the R3 in Wimbledon and lost to eventual champion Angie Kerber.

2017 : 4W – 4L
Lost in R1 in Nottingham, R2 in both Birmingham and Eastbourne respectively to semifinalist Safarova and finalist Wozniacki. In Wimbledon, she beat a good player on grass in the person of Strycova before losing in R3 against none other than HRH Grass Queen Venus Williams (also eventual finalist).

Before 2017, no relevant results but an ITF50 Surbiton Final in 2015.

I wouldn’t say her results are ridiculous on this surface ! She already made R3 twice in Wimbledon which is not nothing and also lost to some particularly good players on grass, all before being the champion she is now.
As for 2019, it was also a difficult year for her and she was suffering a little post slam slump.

Isn't her real problem a lack of recent results actually ? Aren't her 2019 results the anomaly instead of a reference ?

So what do you think about Naomi on grass ?
Game wise what is holding her back and could she work on it ? I'm thinking about volleying skills notably.
Does she have the potential to win Wimbledon ?

DISCUSS !

Edit : added the poll who disappeared (???)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,762 Posts
I think Naomi would be a lot of fun on grass.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Movement/no variety is her real problem. She has great serve and can hit bombs which is benefiting on grass but her poor movement and variety can be exposed there too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115,447 Posts
I dont expect much this year at Wimbledon because the Olympics are in Tokyo and thats going to be a media blitz and she's expected to win, so high pressure and a lot of attention
Very hard to handle that and get thru a tough draw
She is still pretty young and the first young superstar in a long time, so I think she has to pick her spots or it becomes overwhelming
She won 4 majors and the other young stars have 1 or 0, so she is out by herself
Lets remember that in 2008, Serena had 8 while Justine and Venus had 7
Its a long time since one young player was so out by herself as the next great player
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
she has a huge serve and hits very flat and can hit good angles, and moving on grass will be easier for her than moving on clay. once she figures out the bounces i can see her being very dangerous on grass
 

·
Registered
That Woman
Joined
·
4,239 Posts
In the thread about her loss to Muchova, many ONE posters claimed/reminded how hopeless Naomi is on clay and how hard it’s gonna be for her to adapt her game to this surface, as far as saying she should skip clay season but also GRASS SEASON.
Fixed the first paragraph for you. Just one poster claimed that, and he's a deranged stan/troll, not a poster.
 

·
Registered
That Woman
Joined
·
4,239 Posts
She won 4 majors and the other young stars have 1 or 0, so she is out by herself
Lets remember that in 2008, Serena had 8 while Justine and Venus had 7
Its a long time since one young player was so out by herself as the next great player
Well, in 2001 Venus had 4, Serena 1, and Henin 0....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fixed the first paragraph for you. Just one poster claimed that, and he's a deranged stan/troll, not a poster.
I meant that many claimed she is a bad player on this surface, that her game is not adapted, that she's clueless on clay and grass and criticisms went as far as saying this nonsense of skipping seasons blablabla
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115,447 Posts
But Hingis had 4 by 1998, so Venus wasnt by herself among young players
If anyone was by herself it was Hingis, and they caught up to her pretty quick
I dont see that happening here. More likely an Ostapenko type wins a major and then disappears
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,262 Posts
Yeah...she has the game that should work on grass..she just needs more experience and gets used to the surface. One thing I have noticed over the last decade is that older players(I mean more experienced) have been dominating Wimbledon much more when compared to other slams...this is also true on ATP side (it's the only slam which hasn't been won by anyone outside Fed,Rafa,Novak,Murray in last 18 years). So, I think experience matters much more in Wimbledon/grass season when compared to other slams and it makes sense because there are very few grass tournaments..so players need more seasons to get used to the surface. So, I see no reason why Naomi can't make deep runs in Wimbledon in future..maybe not this year but definitely in future
 

·
Registered
That Woman
Joined
·
4,239 Posts
I meant that many claimed she is a bad player on this surface, that her game is not adapted, that she's clueless on clay and grass and critics went as far as saying this nonsense.
There is a rational argument that her game is reduced in efficacy on clay and grass, but only one stan-troll said she should skip clay and grass entirely.

The nuance about Osaka's game is, whereas she's the clear #1 on hardcourts, she's not even top 10 on clay, and maybe top 10 (but if so just on the fringes) on grass. There are worse players on both surfaces than Osaka who have managed bigger successes, but they have committed to the respective surface in a way Osaka clearly has not.

I think her headache on grass is three-fold:

1. She's not innately comfortable moving on the surface the way she is on hardcourts.
2. Players can keep the ball bouncing in the below-the-knees range, which doesn't give her the height to create her insane angles from the baseline.
3. She comes into grass season after getting beat up by lesser players on clay, and it bruises her confidence.

All three things combined and she's got things to figure out. She's certainly not hopeless, and she is likely to figure out grass before she figures out clay, but she's yet to demonstrate that she can be a world-beater on either surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah...she has the game that should work on grass..she just needs more experience and gets used to the surface. One thing I have noticed over the last decade is that older players(I mean more experienced) have been dominating Wimbledon much more when compared to other slams...this is also true on ATP side (it's the only slam which hasn't been won by anyone outside Fed,Rafa,Novak,Murray in last 18 years). So, I think experience matters much more in Wimbledon/grass season when compared to other slams and it makes sense because there are very few grass tournaments..so players need more seasons to get used to the surface. So, I see no reason why Naomi can't make deep runs in Wimbledon in future..maybe not this year but definitely in future
Very good point !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,440 Posts
I think it is all down to mental attitude. I think she has the tools to do very well on grass but she needs to get used to the movement and feel confident and learn how to adapt her game. She also faces the pressure of being a top two seed but with no second week showing so she is immediately pressurised. I am wondering if she feels impostor syndrome being put on Centre Court for her matches when she does not have the results at Wimbledon, only the ranking. Generally Naomi does well at tournaments she has done well at before but as soon as she steps out of her comfort zone, her confidence ebbs away and she becomes vulnerable. I think she needs to focus on making the second week/qfs/sfs so she can get a bit more confidence for future years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,830 Posts
I think 2022 will be the year Naomi seriously commits to making improvements on grass and clay.
The Olympics has all her focus right now.

I think she'll make a few good runs at Wimbledon once she's gained enough experience/confidence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115,447 Posts
You have to grind thru a draw. She can do it on any surface if she is mentally engaged. A bigger question is why Sabalenka never makes a slam run. Osaka has a ton of money and fame and is holding 2 majors. She doesnt need these 2 before the Olympics and I dont expect huge efforts. Lets see 2022-5 spring and summer
 

·
Registered
That Woman
Joined
·
4,239 Posts
But Hingis had 4 by 1998, so Venus wasnt by herself among young players
If anyone was by herself it was Hingis, and they caught up to her pretty quick
I dont see that happening here. More likely an Ostapenko type wins a major and then disappears
Sure, but it's all conjecture. Davenport didn't win a major after she was 23, and Capriati didn't win her first until she was 24. Venus won more majors at 21-and-under than she did in her subsequent 20 year career. Hingis won her last major at 18. if you'd told anyone any of those facts in the year 2000, they'd laugh.

I absolutely think Osaka will win many more majors, but she's won exclusively on harcourts, and her win streak in 2020-21 occurred in the absence of the months-long irrelevance she faced in 2019 when she failed to perform on clay and grass. It will be interesting to see how she does on the hardcourts this summer, because that's a better look at what her confidence will be like in normal years.

I think she's the best hard court player of her generation. Not unbeatable, it's not an earthquake when she loses, but she's enough better than Andreescu and Barty and Kenin (the others u25ers I view as top 5 hardcourt players) that she should be the favorite for hardcourt majors for a few more years at least.

But seeing Andreescu make 1000 level finals at Indian Wells, Miami, and Canada, plus win the US Open, seeing Barty win more titles as #1 than Osaka, Halep, Pliskova, Muguruza, and Kerber combined (i.e. everyone at #1 not named Serena in nearly a decade), seeing Kenin make two slam finals in a single year, and seeing Swiatek blitz the field at RG plus a hardcourt 500, as well as make the R16 at three other major events in her very short career playing the majors, I don't think the tour is going to be as random as it was in the 2010s.

I expect far fewer one-time slam champions than we got in the 2010s - seven of whom are either retired (Schiavone, Bartoli, Pennetta, Wozniacki), or look unlikely to varying degrees to replicate that success into the 2020s (Stosur, Ostapenko, Stephens). I imagine in will be much more like the 2000s, where only two players (Ivanovic and Myskina) managed a lone career major title.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115,447 Posts
I'm not even going to predict long term. She has the biggest sponsors and by far the most majors of the younger players. The rest is up to Naomi. I will be surprised if she wins a major before the Olympics, thats an easy short term prediction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
With that serve and groundstrokes, I think she will win one or more Wimbledon titles in the future, and many hard court Slam as well. FO titles however will be much more difficult for her, but not impossible
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,650 Posts
I think at the end of her career she will have achieved more on grass than that of clay. Whether that includes a Wimbledon title, I’m not convinced of that at all.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top