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If Abdul is back on Naomi's team I'm hoping he can get her back in 2018/2019 condition.
Naomi needs more than just her serve to do well in the tournaments she wants to do well in. She needs that extra step to get behind the ball like she did a few years ago.
Apparently, Abdul is working with both Naomi and Bibi. We shall see how that works out logistics wise. In the meantime, dude is getting that coin!
 

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So glad Naomi's injury conveniently healed as soon as grass and clay season are finished!!! :hearts: In all seriousness that was a good match. She was hitting her backhand over the high part of the net pretty well, which is something she can struggle with at times (and can be a bit of a yardstick of her form). In the end, her serve made the difference in this match (as it often does).

Another nice showing from Mariah Zheng. It won't be long before she starts pulling these upsets off, possibly due a good run at the US Open with the right draw. I also loved her in this kit, even though Naomi has the personalised line.
 

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Still rusty but job well done! Let's get Cincy - now leave this MMs for peasants to fight over :oh:
 

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So glad Naomi's injury conveniently healed as soon as grass and clay season are finished!!! :hearts: In all seriousness that was a good match. She was hitting her backhand over the high part of the net pretty well, which is something she can struggle with at times (and can be a bit of a yardstick of her form). In the end, her serve made the difference in this match (as it often does).
It will be back when she withdraws from the SF/F :oh:
 

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Really enjoyed this one. Well played to both. Both serving under 50% wasn't great, but I'm sure they'll both improve as the HC season goes on.

Good to see Osaka looking like she's enjoying her tennis again. The WTA needs her back to her best and playing a full schedule.
 

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That was an entertaining match. Naomi was clutch on important points, which is good to see, and that made all the difference, as not many points separated them. Some great rallies in this match, Qinwen defense is quite good, she is a very good counter puncher, and she hit many outstanding winners too. She needs to improve her serve though, and her formidable forehand was quite erratic in this match

Hopefully both will win some big titles soon
 

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It was a satisfying bashing contest.

Zheng has such a good attitude, especially for a youngster, it's probably what impressed me the most about her. She is very fit, hits and moves well. On the other hand, point construction & net approaches/game were poor. Not sure what to think of the low % shots, sure some of them were spectacular and they were mostly landing in today, but I doubt she can pull them off consistently, especially against better defenders.

Serving was what made the difference today, and Osaka was close to servebotting*. She isn't as explosive as she used to be in her prime and a bit of the killer instinct is gone, but her base level is already better than 90% of the tour, so... We'll see. She looked genuinely happy and comfortable today.

*The stats show only 48% in? Well, she was servebotting on most important points :lol2:
 

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Osaka should have won in Straight Sets...
Losing serve in S2 at 3-4 was Prideless, Can't Happen...
All told, a decent effort by Naomi...
Still, she should have won 2-0...
Hopefully, Naomi doesn't crap out when it really matters...
Losing serve in spots like that can"t happen...
 

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Good win from Naomi. From what I've seen in the highlights, some great serving and hitting from her, although some bit of rust is still apparent. Should have a good US swing if she can keep this level up and improve more on her groundies and movement. Her return is still a problem, especially off the second - stands way too inside the court to return, which frankly for her isn't working since her hand-eye coordination isn't as excellent as such a return stance requires. She'd be better off standing back a little and hitting a hard deep return down the middle.

Qinwen continues to be a challenge for the big names on tour, she'll pull these upsets off sooner rather than later and have a big breakthrough run of her own. The only issue I have with her game is her serve technique, which can be prone to breaking down under pressure, especially on her second delivery.

Gauff will be tough as well, but she should have a decent shot if she can serve as well as she did today, although I think Gauff is a much better returner than Qinwen. Interesting change in dynamics in the match-up too since Osaka has always been the favourite in their previous encounters in terms of ranking, but this time it's Coco who is expected to win.
 

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Naomi haters clueless as usual. Some rustiness is fully expected after having not played for 2 months. Still a comfortable win over a dangerous opponent.
 

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Sad for Qinwen, but glad at least it's Naomi - amazing match for Asian tennis.
Loved Qinwen serving out second set to love, but then experienced players always
apply pressure to run away with the third early on, and that's what happened. All a
learning curve, just wish it was a later round for QW to get some points! Also her first match in a while,
so next tournament will be interesting.
 
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