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Italian Open: Who Is Naomi Osaka’s R1 Opponent Clara Burel? Everything to Know About 23-YO French Phenom

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It’s time for some litmus test in Rome! Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is all set to start her campaign at the 81st edition of the Italian Open in just a few hours. She will take on France’s Clara Burel in her first match at the Italian Open. Ever since making her comeback, Osaka has looked far from her best. It will be interesting to see if she can bring back her fortunes with a win against the 23-year-old tennis player from Rennes, France. But before heading onto this intriguing faceoff, let’s know a little bit more about Naomi Osaka’s next opponent.

Clara Burel started playing tennis at the age of 6. In 2018, she reached the junior singles finals at three major events, including an incredible performance at the Youth Summer Olympics. The right-handed tennis sensation made her Grand Slam debut as a wildcard entrant at the 2019 AO. She faced defeat in her first-round match. Did it dampen her spirits? Well, a big no! She made her French Open debut a year later and made it to the third round of the tournament for the first time in her career. She became the youngest Frenchwoman to do so since Alize Cornet’s historic feat in 2008.

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In 2021, Clara Burel successfully qualified for the AO and Wimbledon Championships. Then later on, she reached her first WTA Tour final at the Ladies Open Lausanne and also made her WTA 100 debut at the 2021 National Bank Open as a qualifier. She has been climbing up the ladders slowly and steadily over the last few years. Then in 2022, she recorded her first WTA 1000 win at the Miami Open. Burel entered the tournament as a qualifier and defeated Magda Frech in her first-round match.

Then, a year later, she got the taste of her first victory at the 2023 AO. Her potential is enormous, all she needs now is some consistency to make her mark on the biggest stages of the game. Clara Burel’s best results for this year came at the Linz Open and the WTA 125K Saint-Malo, FR where she reached the QF. How long can she keep her fight going against the former world number one in Rome? 

Naomi Osaka seems quite relaxed ahead of her first match at the 2024 Italian Open

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Recently, the Japanese tennis star was spotted exploring the streets of Rome. She posted quite a few photos from her recent explorations at the ‘Eternal City’ on her Instagram account. Naomi Osaka was spotted donning a camouflage hoodie and a deep blue colored plated miniskirt. A pair of sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton handbag, and Nike sneakers accompanied her cool outfit! 

She captioned “Ciao” on her Instagram posts. It means “hello” or “goodbye” in Italian. Now it will be interesting to see, what lines up for her against Clara Burel. Will it be an early goodbye for the Japanese yet again, or will she say hello to her next opponent in the second round? Osaka and Burel haven’t met each other previously on the tour. Naomi Osaka currently has a 3-4 win-loss record at the Italian Open. Her best result in this tournament came in 2019, when she reached the QF. How far do you think she can reach this time around?

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