Naomi Osaka Secures First Wimbledon Win Since 2018 Against Diane Parry

Naomi Osaka, at Wimbledon, achieved a noteworthy achievement as she defeated Diane Parry 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 to win her first match there since 2018.

The victory, which came on the eve of her Daughter’s First Birthday, is a crucial turning point in Osaka’s recovery.

Naomi Osaka Secures First Wimbledon Win Since 2018 Against Diane Parry
Osaka defeated Parry in three sets to capture her third victory of the grass-court season and her first victory at Wimbledon since 2018. Photo Credit: © 2024 Getty Images

Before defeating Diane Parry 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 today, Naomi Osaka’s last Wimbledon victory came in 2018. Not much has transpired since, except from four Grand Slam singles victories, international recognition, multiple ventures into social activity, and becoming a parent.

Tennis years are dog years, as Boris Becker once remarked.

Osaka’s comet-like rise to fame was tempered by a far more measured return to tennis after her pregnancy last year. Despite the fact that she hasn’t won a match since winning the Australian Open in 2021, she has shown hopeful signs in ’24. Most famously, Osaka had a match point over eventual winner Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros in May of this year.

Inspired by that effort, Osaka got out to a fast start against Parry. Parry’s game plan was obvious from the start: in an attempt to extract errors, she would slice and curve her one-handed backhand low, short, and sometimes deep. However, that didn’t really matter in the opening set, supporting the saying of boxer Mike Tyson that “everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.”

Osaka approached the ball repeatedly, bowed her knees with perfect poise, and drove the ball with her signature depth and force. She broke Parry’s serve in 13 minutes to take the lead 3-1. Osaka ended the set with five straight wins as Parry served at1-4, 15-40.

Give Parry credit, though, for sticking to her strategy. It was, after all, her job. The notion of outsmarting Osaka was strictly forbidden. It would be better to channel a close resemblance of the legendary one-hander Justine Henin. With Osaka applauding, Parry blasted a 102 mph ace down the T when serving at 30-40 in the opening game. After that, Parry took command of the contest, winning nine of the next eleven games to lead 3-1 in the third.

Osaka stated, “To be really honest, I feel like I came out really, really strong in the first set.” “I think she adjusted a lot better in the second set, not to be too hard on myself.”

Also Read: Coco Gauff Triumphs at Wimbledon 2024: Dominates Caroline Dolehide in First Round

Parry’s slice backhand was slicing through Osaka like a surgeon, taking tiny bits out. I had witnessed Osaka practice at Aorangi Park on the north end of Wimbledon a few hours earlier, just after noon. She was working hard on swing volleys, a play she undoubtedly wants to perfect in order to capitalize on her incredibly powerful groundstrokes. However, she made a huge error early in the third set, which probably convinced Osaka that more ground play would be required to win.

Osaka remarked, “I feel like today felt really hectic just because of the way she played.” “I felt like I had to remind myself all the time to stay in charge of the point. It became a little stressful while she was chopping and whatnot.

Parry was off her backhand and her serve was often lackluster, therefore she was nimble. Parry only completed 33 percent of her first serves in the third set, and she double-failed six times overall, including twice in a row at 4-5, 30-all. Yes, you heard correctly: two straight double-faults ended the match.

“Winning this in three sets makes me feel really relieved,” Osaka remarked. “I believe it will be beneficial to my character development.”

Just one day before her daughter Shai turned one, Osaka secured this victory. Osaka handed Shai the beloved children’s book Peter Rabbit as a birthday present. Following an opening day triumph that Osaka called “really fun and really stressful,” maybe she will take to heart Beatrix Potter’s advice: “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”

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