Former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic tried to explain the difference between playing Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
Petkovic said people think Williams plays power tennis but actually you have the feeling you can’t do nothing when the former world No. 1 is playing her best.
“With Serena, people think she just plays power tennis. Actually, when Serena is playing her best, she is not playing that power tennis. It’s a different way of feeling powerless against her because she really builds a point well. So with Serena, you just have the feeling when she’s playing well that in every part of the game, she’s just that much better. You just feel she’s better in all the departments, just a tiny bit, which is enough to destroy you on court mentally and like, suck out your soul [laughs],” Petkovic told WTA Insider.
Petkovic further explains the difference betwen Williams, Osaka
When it comes to Osaka, Petkovic said you get the feeling Osaka is physically too strong for you.
“With Naomi, it’s a different feeling of powerlessness where it feels like she’s physically too strong for you, too powerful for you. It just feels like I can’t possibly hit the ball as hard to push her back on the baseline because she’s going to already throw the kitchen sink at me,” Petkovic added.
“It’s like being in a swordfight, somebody is so fast that the only thing you can do is defend. You don’t even have the time to think about attacking. That’s how it feels with Naomi. With Serena, it feels like you’re fighting but for some reason, you’re getting slit everywhere all the time. That’s the main difference.”
Petkovic has played Williams five times and she has zero wins against the American.
On the other side, Petkovic has a 1-1 head-to-head against Osaka.
Petkovic’s lone win against Osaka came in 2016 when the Japanese was just 16.