Naomi Osaka, who feels a bit nervous, aims to participate in the Paris Olympics next year and win more major tennis championships when she comes back to the sport.
Image of Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka, who’s a bit nervous, wants to go to the Paris Olympics next year and win more big tennis tournaments after making her comeback. The 26-year-old, who used to be the world’s top-ranked player, is getting back into action at the Brisbane International later this month. She hasn’t played in tournaments since September 2022 because she had a baby, Shai, in July and has been dealing with mental health challenges and the pressures of tennis.
She shared with Japanese broadcaster NHK that she’s feeling “nervous, happy, and excited” as she gets ready to come back.
Osaka, who lit the cauldron at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 due to the pandemic, wishes that her return to tennis will lead her to participate in the upcoming Paris Games next summer.
“At the beginning of my tennis journey, I managed to succeed by just being myself and playing based on my instincts,” she explained.
“I want to become someone who understands the game better,” she expressed.
“I want to win more Grand Slams and spend more time competing in the French Open and Wimbledon. Plus, I’d love to play in the Paris Olympics,” she added.
When representing Japan at the Tokyo Games, where most spectators were banned due to COVID-19, Osaka was defeated in straight sets in the third round by Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic.
She has won four major titles by achieving victory in the Australian Open of 2019 and 2021 and securing the US Open titles in 2018 and 2020.
Osaka will make her comeback to Grand Slam tennis at the Australian Open in January and mentions that her perspective will be different now as she is a mother.
“I’ve never been someone who excels at playing just for myself if that makes sense,” she explained.
“So, I enjoy the feeling of having the responsibility to take care of Shai and wanting to show her different parts of the world,” she expressed.
“I sort of feel like I’m playing for her,” she added.