Four-time Major champion Naomi Osaka has arrived in New York following a string of poor results in 2021, but Dominic Thiem is backing the Japanese star to turn things around and win her fifth hard court Grand Slam title. Osaka withdraw from Wimbledon, before exiting both Tokyo Olympics and Western & Southern Open in third round,
however the 23-year-old has an excellent record in New York having won the title in 2018 and 2020.
The Austrian credited Osaka’s ability on a hard court and is backing her to win a second Major in 2021.”I think she can do it, I mean she’s a big, big champion,” Thiem said.
“She won the US Open once where there was so much noise, when there was a full crowd again. And she won it last year when there were almost zero people in the stadium. So she knows how to do both. And definitely, she can do it again.”
Osaka has won four of the last six hard court Grand Slams, resulting in her being considered as the best hard court player in women’s tennis. Thiem echoed that, naming her as a favourite alongside world number one Ashleigh Barty.
“I mean, she’s probably the best hardcourt player out there. So besides Barty, she’s the big, big favorite,” Thiem added.
Osaka could face Angelique Kerber or teenage sensation Coco Gauff in round four, the Japanse received a second round walkover after Olga Danilovic withdrew due to injury. Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina are also in her quarter of the draw.