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"Playing against Naomi Osaka is like being in a swordfight; she is so fast that the only thing you can do is defend" - Andrea Petkovic

Playing against Naomi Osaka feels like being in a swordfight to Andrea Petkovic
Playing against Naomi Osaka feels like being in a swordfight to Andrea Petkovic
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Shyam Kamal

In a recent interview with WTA Insider, Andrea Petkovic compared playing against Naomi Osaka to being in a swordfight. Both Osaka and Petkovic are currently active in the Melbourne Summer Set tournament, where they will face off against each another in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Petkovic, a former World No. 9, first recalled their previous meeting, which came at the 2019 China Open. Having succumbed 2-6, 0-6 in the match, Petkovic claimed that all she could do was defend against Osaka's barrage of attacks.

The German added that Osaka's pace of play was so high that she couldn't even think about doing some attacking of her own. Instead, all her energy was spent trying to remain alive in the contest.

"It's like being in a swordfight," Petkovic said. "Somebody is so fast that the only thing you can do is defend. You don't even have the time to think about attacking."

Petkovic further stated that even if she had played at her very best in that match, it would not have mattered to Osaka. The 34-year-old believes she didn't play too badly, but couldn't do anything to prevent Osaka from outplaying her.

"The match against Naomi in Beijing is one of two matches in all of my career where I felt that even if I had played the best tennis that I was able to play, I probably would have lost," Petkovic said. "I wasn't playing badly either. I was just completely outplayed."
"I'm 34, which is young for life, but old for tennis. "I'm seeing the finish line.”Andrea Petkovic is relishing every battle as she enters the homestretch of her career. She gets Naomi Osaka next.Read: wtatennis.com/news/2441012/p… https://t.co/wDFgbjArr1

Andrea Petkovic went on to describe Naomi Osaka's aura on the court as one that makes opponents feel powerless. According to Petkovic, the Japanese star's playing style makes it seem she is ready to "throw the kitchen sink" at the opponent - which makes it harder to take the control away from her.

"It's a feeling of powerlessness [playing against Osaka] where it feels like she's physically too strong for you, too powerful for you," Petkovic said. "It just feels like I can't possibly hit the ball as hard to push her back on the baseline because she's going to already throw the kitchen sink at me."

Naomi Osaka needed just 58 minutes to win her second-round match at Melbourne

Naomi Osaka needed less than an hour to seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the Melbourne Summer Set
Naomi Osaka needed less than an hour to seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the Melbourne Summer Set

Naomi Osaka put in a flawless performance in the second round of the Melbourne Summer Set on Thursday, living up to Andrea Petkovic's words of praise. The top seed needed only 58 minutes to dispose of Maryna Zanevka 6-1, 6-1.

Top seed Naomi Osaka puts in a clinical performance to defeat Maryna Zanevzka 61 61 and advance to the Melbourne 1 QFs. Osaka winning 90% of her 1st serve points on the night, never faced a break point. Faces Petkovic.

Osaka won 18 out of 20 points on her first serve and 17 out of 24 on her opponent's second serve. The Japanese didn't face a single break point on her serve, and converted five of the 12 break points she earned while returning.

Andrea Petkovic, meanwhile, registered a tough three-set win against Clara Burel on Thursday. She will hope to continue her momentum and put up a better showing against the former World No. 1 this time around.


Edited by Musab Abid
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