Osaka

After her return to tennis late last year after giving birth, the former world number one Naomi Osaka admitted that she was considering “a bigger picture” rather than just her performance in her comeback.

Currently, with her most recent match being a third-round loss to France’s Caroline Garcia at the Miami Open this month, the four-time major winner has not advanced past the quarterfinals in six tournaments since her 15-month maternity leave.

Osaka declared: “It’s really tough to look at it results-wise… But I have to look at it in a bigger picture and try to expand on my game and expand on the knowledge that I’m constantly learning as a player.”

Osaka at the Billie Jean King Cup 

Since her return, Osaka’s world ranking has increased from 831 to 193.  She is now expected to represent Japan against Kazakhstan in a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier in Tokyo. She is making her debut in the said competition for the first time since 2020 after Ai Sugiyama invited her.

The 26-year-old player expressed: “She’s just always felt very kind and genuine and I always really wanted to try, just to be better in team atmospheres as well.” 

Since withdrawing from the Pan Pacific Open in September 2022 before her second-round match, it will be Osaka’s first appearance in Tokyo. As a gift to her Tokyo fans, she wanted to give them ‘something really exciting’ that would showcase her growth as a player. 

“I hope that it’s fun for everyone to watch, but I’m not going to do anything crazy,” she admitted. 

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More so, Osaka declared that she wants to represent Japan at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Cover Photo: IG

Source: Inquirer

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