• Naomi Osaka recently lost the Miami Open final
  • She is a four-time Grand Slam winner
  • Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros last year due to some controversies

Japan’s tennis star Naomi Osaka has admitted that she will be looking at Rafael Nadal’s videos as she is gearing up for the upcoming clay season.

Osaka recently reached her first final since winning the Australian Open 2021. However, the former World No. 1 ended up losing the Miami Open final to top-ranked Iga Swiatek.

The Japanese tennis player has admitted that clay and grass courts have been tricky for her so far and she really wants to “tackle” them this year. “So I'm willing kind of to do whatever it takes to get,” Osaka said in the post-match conference after the Miami final.

Instead of sulking over her defeat at WTA 1000 event in Miami, the four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka seems quite upbeat about the result. With the court set to change from hard to clay in the coming months, Osaka wants to aim at winning her maiden Rolland Garros title and hopes to maintain a "positive outlook" until then.

Ahead of the clay season, Osaka plans to observe Nadal closely. Apart from studying the 14-time French Open champion’s movements, Osaka is also looking to learn as much as possible from Nadal’s young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old Alcaraz won his maiden ATP 1000 Masters title at Miami Open as he became the youngest champion in the history of the tournament, according to ATP.

"I know that the French Open is far away, and the clay season is upcoming, but I think my goal there is just to like keep a positive outlook on life. I'm going to watch a lot of [Rafael] Nadal videos to see how he moves. Shout out to [Carlos] Alcaraz too, because he's killing it," added Osaka in the same conference.

In five appearances at Roland Garros to date, Osaka is yet to progress to the second week. Her best result in the Paris major tournament has been reaching the third round (2016, 2018, and 2019).

In the most recent edition in 2021, the Japanese player had to withdraw before her second-round encounter after she received massive backlash for refusing to attend press conferences in a bid to protect her mental health.

Naomi Osaka is back after a four-month break
Naomi Osaka is back after a four-month break AFP / mike FREY

The 24-year-old Osaka withdrew from Wimbledon 2021 as well. She then lost in the third round of both the 2021 US Open and 2022 Australian Open, where she was the defending champion of both tournaments.

Amid such tough circumstances, Osaka announced an indefinite break from tennis after her third-round loss in Flushing Meadows in 2021, citing she had lost love for the game. However, she made a comeback at the Australian Open earlier this year.