It has only been a few days since Naomi Osaka triumphed at the US Open to become Japan’s first Grand Slam singles winner, but she is already returning to her normal routine.
An injury forced her to withdraw from Sunday’s Women’s doubles final, losing 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
Yet it would be a stretch to say the 19-year-old and her hopes of becoming just the third player in WTA history to win all four majors as a teenager are resting on her shoulder.
French ace Kristina Mladenovic, though, believes Osaka has what it takes to take the next step.
Mladenovic, seeded 17th at Flushing Meadows, also won her first Grand Slam title earlier this summer when she defeated Monica Niculescu in the final of the Eastbourne grass court tournament.
“We’re talking about her age,” said Mladenovic. “But let’s put it this way, she has the right attitude to win big titles.
“I like the way she carries herself, the way she plays. She’s really technical. I like the fact that she lost in a Grand Slam final and that was really tough.
“I mean, she was the same Naomi as usual. She can be really tough, physically, mentally, everything.
“I think she has all the talent to do it.”
You can see our latest Yasushi Kamiyama column in Friday’s SBS Sport Magazine – click here for the issue