Emma Navarro Defeats Naomi Osaka To Advance At Wimbledon

emma-navarro

Emma Navarro played a clean game to defeat Naomi Osaka at Wimbledon on Wednesday, committing just five unforced errors compared to 16 winners. She faced no break points and had a perfect 4-for-4 success rate at the net.

Navarro’s victory over Osaka, a four-time major champion and former No. 1, with a score of 6-4, 6-1 in under an hour at Centre Court, helped her reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time. A contributing factor to her success are the little reminders she types into her cellphone’s notes app before each match.

Osaka has never excelled on grass or clay, winning all of her Grand Slam titles on hard courts at the U.S. Open and Australian Open. Her victory on Monday was her first at Wimbledon since 2018, having last played the tournament in 2019.

Navarro, who hails from South Carolina, has been rapidly climbing the rankings. She progressed from No. 143 at the end of 2022 to No. 38 at the end of last year, and is now ranked No. 17 this week.

Navarro’s earlier Grand Slam performances saw her failing to get past the second round in her first four appearances. However, this season she reached the third round at the Australian Open, the fourth round at the French Open, and now aims to go further at Wimbledon with a win on Friday against Diana Shnaider, a 20-year-old from Russia who played college tennis at North Carolina State.

Navarro’s habit of jotting down key thoughts before matches began as a teenager in 2019 after a straight-set loss at a junior event in Milan, Italy, just before the French Open juniors. This practice paid off when she reached the junior final in Paris, defeating Zheng Qinwen (this year’s Australian Open runner-up) before losing to Leylah Fernandez (the 2021 U.S. Open runner-up).

Now, Navarro is advancing through the brackets at major tournaments and performing on the sport’s biggest stages.