Talking Points: Naomi Osaka’s struggles becoming a concern, and boy did Kyle Edmund need that!
It was an absorbing and eye-catching day three at the French Open on Monday, and one that certainly produced no shortage of talking points – including Naomi Osaka’s great escape.
Osaka is struggling
How would you assess Naomi Osaka’s match at Roland Garros on Tuesday?
On the one hand, she won. That shouldn’t be forgotten in all this. They say that the hallmark of a great sportsperson is to find a way to win when you’re playing badly, and that’s what Osaka did.
That said… Osaka was bageled. The world number one was bageled at a Grand Slam. That’s not good. She was bageled by the world number 90 too, and that’s even worse.
It’s just not happening for Osaka right now. She’s not playing like we know she can. It’s true that clay is her least favoured surface, but you’s still expect better than what she is currently showing.
Then again, this is Naomi Osaka, and she has that knack of coming good at the right time at Grand Slams.
It’s good to have Delpo back
I must admit, I have missed Juan Martin del Potro recently. He’s one of my favourite players on tour and it’s great to see him back.
It is, however, always quite difficult to get too excited about the lovable Argentinian coming back into the fold, simply because you never really know how long it will be until injury strikes again and he’s gone.
Is he a realistic contender for the French Open title? No. It’s very tough to see him having enough gas in the tank to last two weeks of going through the best players in the world. It’s too much too soon.
Was he at his best on Tuesday as he overcame Nicolas Jarry? Again, no.
But he has admitted himself he won’t be expecting too much of himself until the second half of the year, so right now, if you’re a Delpo fan, it’s all about keeping your fingers crossed he doesn’t break down again.
Alexander Zverev doesn’t make it easy on himself
Zverev put in what you’d probably call a typical Alexander Zverev Grand Slam performance on Tuesday. That is to say he made it as hard as he possibly could for himself.
The world number five strolled into a two-set lead over Australian John Millman before throwing that advantage away and having to win it all over again in the decider.
He has a reputation now for struggling at Grand Slams and this is a large part of the reason. While his rivals at the top of the rankings are conserving their energies right now, Zverev has put himself through a four-hour marathon.
Until he starts finishing his business with minimal energy in the earlier rounds, it’s hard to see him breaking his Grand Slam jinx.
Kyle Edmund needed that!
Edmund came back today to complete his first round match with Jeremy Chardy and, you’d have to say, he really needed it.
The British number one has not been in good form for a while, and not only has he not been winning but he hasn’t even been looking like winning.
He was given a very tough draw as well against the experienced Chardy, who also had the partisan Parisian crowd to spur him on.
You’d have to say, though, that Edmund put in a very measured and professional performance, especially having to deal with the overnight delay, and it could just be the start o the tide turning for the Brit.
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