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If Naomi Osaka serves well, it's almost impossible to break her because there is just so much power coming at you: Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petkovic and Naomi Osaka have played thrice.
Andrea Petkovic and Naomi Osaka have played thrice.

Speaking to Craig Shapiro on a tennis podcast, Andrea Petkovic opened up about a range of issues, including her recent injury problems, her illustrious career and her fellow WTA tour players.

Turning her attention to Naomi Osaka, who the German has played three times in her career so far, Petkovic said the Japanese possessed enough firepower to take the racket out of her opponent's hands.

Petkovic, who beat Osaka 6-2, 6-2 in their first meeting, described playing the four-time Grand Slam champion as "devastating." She said that it was very hard to get Osaka out of rhythm when the Japanese sent down serves at 120 mph.

"With Naomi, is just it's devastating because you can't do anything by yourself in a sense, that's how it feels." Petkovic said. "You have no say in anything. And then your goal is to somehow get her shaky and somehow break her rhythm, but that's really hard. If there are like 120mile-serves coming at you."
Osaka beat Petkovic at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set.
Osaka beat Petkovic at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set.

Petkovic said she would always hope for a drop in first-serve percentage when playing against Osaka, adding that it was the only way to gain a foothold in the match.

"The only thing that I always hope when I play Naomi is that she doesn't make a lot of first service," Petkovic said. "Then when you have a second serve and you can attack it a little bit, then you're there, you can at least play."
"But if she sees the ball well and serves well and I've played her and Melbourne this year and the roof was closed," she continued. "So she had like 70% first serves. It's almost impossible to break her then because she is just so much power coming in at you."

Serena Williams has a more well-rounded game, whereas Naomi Osaka is pure power: Andrea Petkovic

Serena Williams (L) and Andrea Petkovic at the Bank of the West Classic.
Serena Williams (L) and Andrea Petkovic at the Bank of the West Classic.

Comparing Osaka's playing style to that of Serena Williams, Andrea Petkovic said the latter possessed an underrated all-court game, while the Japanese relied on "pure power".

The German said Williams had the ability to change the pace of rallies with acute angles and slices, making her such a tough opponent to beat.

"With Serena one time because people like to compare them and I think Serena is a little bit underestimated in her all-court game." Petkovic said. "People think she's all power because she has this great serve but really when you place arena, okay, if she serves well, you don't have many looks on it."
"But if you get into a rally with Serena, she plays angles that people don't know, she can play slice, she can play high spin with her forehand," she continued. "So she really has a lot of rap that she can use to play you, whereas with Naomi, it's pure power."

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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