tennis

Reigning champ Osaka heads to U.S. Open striving for form, fitness and fun

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By Jack Tarrant

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her middle name is "Fun".

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@Kestrel

Unfortunate middle name for a Japanese....

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Just hire your old coach back on better terms and start smiling again Naomi. Good luck.

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Naomi's such a nice girl and I think she just has to learn to zone out and put it all out of her head.

When I was a kid, I was a huge Nolan Ryan fan. When his team came to town, we had seats right behind his visiting dugout and where he was warming up before the game. I tried to get his autograph as he was done throwing missiles at over 100 m.p.h., and he completely blew us kids off. We weren't angry, however, and I'll never forget the look on his face. It was the face of an extremely determined athlete completely focused on the game ahead. He went on to pitch the entire game and shut out the other team, striking out over 10 batters and giving up only 3 hits over 9 innings. Later I read a book by Nolan Ryan, and he talked about feeling bad about not signing autographs before a game, but he said he was in the zone and that doing anything else would have taken him out of this zone. It all made perfect sense. Naomi Osaka has to be like this and just block everything else out before a match.

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