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"She definitely taught me a lesson that day" - Naomi Osaka recalls first loss to Andrea Petkovic ahead of Melbourne showdown

Andrea Petkovic and Naomi Osaka will be play each other for a spot in the last four.
Andrea Petkovic and Naomi Osaka will be play each other for a spot in the last four.
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Vedant Chandel

Naomi Osaka and Andrea Petkovic are all set to face off in the quarterfinals of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 on Friday. This will be the third career meeting between the two players.

Osaka and Petkovic have split their previous two meetings, the first of which was in the former's debut WTA tournament. Playing at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Petkovic handed Osaka her first ever WTA main-draw defeat, winning 6-2, 6-2.

Osaka has since avenged the loss with a dominant win over the German, which came at the 2019 China Open. But the four-time Grand Slam champion still remembers their first encounter well.

Speaking at her second-round press conference on Thursday, Osaka recalled the Stanford encounter and claimed she was "taught a lesson" by Petkovic.

"I felt like she definitely taught me a lesson that day," Osaka said of her first meeting against Petkovic. "Yeah, I definitely got my butt kicked."
Naomi Osaka at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set 1.
Naomi Osaka at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set 1.

Osaka was then asked to give her thoughts on the fact that she grew up watching the likes of Petkovic and her first-round opponent in Melbourne, Alize Cornet. In response, the Japanese stated that she respected both of them for having played at the highest level throughout their long careers.

"I respect them a lot," Osaka said. "For me to be able to watch them and have a long career like this, I don't think it's anything to be taken lightly. They've been here for a long time for a reason, and for me, it just -- I think there's a lot of respect both ways that go into it."

"I do remember just thinking that it was really tough" - Naomi Osaka recalls first WTA appearance

Naomi Osaka at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic.
Naomi Osaka at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic.

Naomi Osaka then circled back to her first WTA appearance at Stanford, where she scored an opening-round win over former US Open champion Samantha Stosur. Osaka admitted that back then she found it "tough" to maintain her level in every match.

Elaborating further on the subject, the Japanese said she was on a "high" after beating Stosur but that she didn't have the right mindset to back that up against Petkovic in the next match.

"I do remember just thinking that it was really tough to go into that first tournament," Osaka said. "And see that you're supposed to maintain a level of tennis throughout the entire tournament and in fact get better throughout the tournament."
"And for me I just had that like one great match," she continued. "I felt like when I played Petkovic after I played Stosur, I was just kind of riding on a high, and I wasn't really in the mindset to go back to back."

Edited by Musab Abid
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