But Osaka is uncertain, although she may head to Berlin to play in the brand new grass-court event there that can count toward her rating.
“As an entire, I feel like I’m going to stop telling myself that I’m bad on these surfaces,” she said of grass and clay, “and as a substitute just keep my head down and keep working really hard, because I believe that’s what I’ve been doing this whole 12 months. I can’t expect the whole lot to, like, come without delay. So hopefully, progressively I may have the outcomes that I would like.”
For now, she has 4 Grand Slam singles titles, all on hardcourts, probably the most recent on the 2021 Australian Open about 16 months ago. The pecking order is shifting and never in her favor. After breaking down in tears midmatch on the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., in March after a heckler rattled her in a second-round defeat, she bounced back to succeed in the ultimate of the Miami Open, where Swiatek trounced her, 6-4, 6-0.
Osaka, who plays for Japan and relies in the USA, stays one among the largest stars in sports and the highest-paid female athlete on the planet by a big margin. She has enough lucrative long-term sponsorship deals to justify recently breaking away from IMG to begin her own management agency with Stuart Duguid, her agent.
But Osaka shall be ranked around No. 40 on the planet after Roland Garros, and though her portfolio looks redwood solid, how does it affect the underside line and place within the sports landscape if a younger player like Swiatek takes true command of the game and younger, perhaps hungrier players like Anisimova proceed to outmuscle Osaka early in major tournaments?
To what degree, within the social media age, do results and celebrity must proceed aligning after the hundreds of thousands of followers are already acquired?
Osaka, left ankle wrapped, seemed genuinely intent on changing her luck on Monday, digging into the corners and maintaining positive energy nearly until the top. But Anisimova was more consistent on serve and more devastating from the baseline and, above all, on returns.