'It'll go really good or really bad', Naomi Osaka learning from Rafael Nadal ahead of clay season

As Naomi Osaka looks to kickstart her season on clay, the former world No.1 has been taking tips from none other than Rafael Nadal.

Naomi Osaka's 2022 season is yet to truly get going. The Japanese star made a return for the Australian Open at the start of the year, but she'd have hoped to reach further than the third round.

The 24-year-old was then heckled by a member of the crowd during her round of 64 loss in Indian Wells last month, before narrowly missing out on the Miami Open - losing to Iga Swiatek in the final.

Next up for Osaka is the Madrid Open, where she faces Russia's Anastasia Potapova in the round of 64 on Friday afternoon.

The four-time Grand Slam winner hasn't played her best tennis on clay in recent years, but she's hoping some tips from the 'King of clay' Rafael Nadal will help her out.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action

After missing out in Miami, Osaka flew to Nadal's home in Mallorca to prepare for the clay-court season, and revealed that the 21-time Grand Slam winner gave her some tips.

"I stole one of the things that he does and I've been practicing it recently so it will either go really good or really bad. There is no in-between," said Osaka.

"But I think as I've been doing it, it's been going pretty well.

"Honestly I've been wanting to watch the really good clay-court players practice because I feel like I'm the type of person that learns really fast if I see it up close, and honestly it's a bit of a waste to have all these really good professional tennis players and not watch them."

It's not the first time Osaka has studied other professional players, she's also taken inspiration from Nick Kyrgios' serving technique after spending time with the Aussie star in Los Angeles.

And the former world No.1 also added she'd like to watch upcoming star Carlos Alcaraz train to boost her game even more.

"I've kind of wanted to see (Carlos) Alcaraz, so it'd be cool to watch everyone practice."

Should Osaka improve her clay performances through Nadal's tips, the 24-year-old will be hoping to add some silverware to her already admirable trophy cabinet in the coming weeks, although she said there's no targets set for the clay season.

"I'm taking one tournament at a time," Osaka said. "Of course, I want to win matches and reach the semis either here in Madrid or in Rome (Italian Open), hopefully win, but I'll set little goals first."

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