Naomi Osaka reveals she is impressed by Cori Gauff’s mentality as she has tipped the 18-year-old American to win a Grand Slam in the near future.
Osaka, 24, is set to clash Gauff at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose.
Gauff made her first Grand Slam final at this past French Open.
Gauff maybe didn’t beat Iga Swiatek to win her first Grand Slam title, but Osaka thinks “it is just a matter of time before she wins one.”
“What’s always impressed me about Coco is her mentality,” Osaka said, per Tennis365. “When I was her age, I would find myself getting frustrated and I would show it. I just think it’s really cool how she’s able to stay really neutral all the time. She’s been on the Tour for a while and I think people don’t know that because of how young she is. She’s improving every year, so I think there’s a lot that she’s learning and it’s only a matter of time before she wins a [Grand] Slam.”
Osaka: I didn’t even realize for how long I had been out
Osaka sustained an Achilles injury in Madrid, but still decided to play at the French Open.
After suffering a first round defeat to Amanda Anisimova at Roland Garros, Osaka decided to skip the entire grass season and address her Achilles injury.
On Tuesday, Osaka kicked off her San Jose campaign with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win over Zheng Qinwen.
“It’s good to be back playing, I haven’t played since May. I didn’t realise that but somebody told me,” Osaka said.
In the San Jose last-16, Osaka plays Gauff, who defeated Anhelina Kalinina in straight sets in her opener at the tournament.
Osaka and Gauff are set to meet for the fourth time.
Going into the match, Osaka owns a 2-1 head-to-head versus Gauff.