Andy Murray is the latest player to laud Naomi Osaka’s ability on court, much to the delight of the Japanese star.
Osaka breezed through her second-round game at the Australian Open against Madison Brengle –– winning in straight sets 6-0 6-4.
The 24-year-old is the defending champion in Melbourne and is yet to lose a match so far in 2022.
Against Brengle, Osaka’s groundstrokes were imperious and there was a prevailing sense she could manufacture winners out of almost nowhere.
Murray, who made it through to the second round himself yesterday after coming through a five set epic against Nikoloz Basilashvili, took to social media to voice his admiration for the four-time major champion.
Speaking on Twitter, he said: “Anyone hit the ball cleaner from the baseline than [Naomi Osaka]?”
Osaka saw the tweet after her match, and responded by praising Murray for his strength of character.
She wrote: “Anyone put their heart on their sleeve and fight harder than [Andy Murray]?”
Later, in her post-match press conference, Osaka was asked about Murray’s comments and what they meant to her.
“Definitely really surreal,” she stressed. “I hit with him once like three years ago, and it was a memory that’s really like dear to me.
“It was really cool just to have someone like him talking about my game.”
Murray has always been a vocal advocate of women’s tennis and has made his feelings known already during this tournament.
During Emma Raducanu’s first-round match against Sloane Stephens, the three-time Grand Slam champion criticised Australia’s Channel 9 for failing to show coverage on television.
“Come on Channel 9, let’s get Raducanu [vs] Stephens on one of the channels instead of 2x Rod Laver.”
Aside from commenting on Murray’s post, Osaka also spoke of her own feelings towards her performances so far but emphasised how she is trying not to put pressure on herself.
“Honestly, I’m trying not to do that. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I feel like if I compare myself to the past, I’ll never be satisfied. I’m trying to take it one day at a time.”
Osaka’s next game is against Amanda Anisimova on Friday. Murray, meanwhile, will face Japan’s Taro Daniel tomorrow.