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Tennis: Osaka turns nightmare into a dream to reach third round

MELBOURNE: Naomi Osaka dreamt that she would lose her second round match at the Australian Open but the reality was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory over Caroline Garcia on Wednesday (Feb 10).

Garcia was unable to muster up a single break point over the contest as the Japanese third seed put in a rock-solid performance punctuated with 10 aces on a balmy evening on Rod Laver Arena.

"Going into this match I was really nervous and I actually had a really bad dream about it," Osaka told reporters.

"For me, my dreams are very telling of the future. Like, usually I have dreams and they come true. Last night I had a dream that I lost this match, and I really didn't feel good about it."

Frenchwoman Garcia, once ranked fourth in the world but now languishing at 43rd, can be a tricky opponent whose aggressive baseline game has helped her to six wins over top five players.

Osaka said that where she might once have kept it to herself, she had discussed the dream with her team and that had helped her approach to the match.

"I just thought that I'm not able to control what she's going to do, and I can only control what I'm going to do," she added.

"I also think that's the reason why I was serving so well, because theoretically serving is the one thing you can control in tennis."

Osaka, whose press conference was gatecrashed by French Open champion Iga Swiatek for a quick chat about flip flops, said she had a recurring tennis-related dream.

"So usually I have this dream where I'm hitting a backhand rally with someone, and I hit the backhand into the net. And I wake up," she said.

"It's always so intense, like the rally is always super intense. I would say that's the most vivid like tennis-related dream I always have."

The U.S. Open champion, whose last defeat in a WTA tournament was to Coco Gauff in the third round at Melbourne Park last year, will next face Ons Jabeur.

"She's really funny and nice and I think the match I play against her will be really difficult, but I'm looking forward to it," she smiled.

Source: Reuters


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