Naomi Osaka: Star reveals she’ll definitely return to tennis soon

Naomi Osaka

Just three weeks after announcing an indefinite break from tennis, Naomi Osaka has confirmed she’ll return to action soon.

Osaka failed to defend her US Open title earlier this month as she was knocked out of the tournament in the third round to eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez.

After the match, the Japanese star admitted that winning felt like a “relief” and losing made her feel “very sad.”

She went on to reveal she felt unsure on what to do next and stated: “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”

It’s been a challenging year for Osaka since winning her fourth major title at the Australian Open in February.

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At one stage, the 23-year-old was on a run of 16 straight wins in Grand Slams and set to reclaim her spot as world number one from Ashleigh Barty.

But after opening up about her struggles with depression at the French Open, Osaka subsequently withdrew from Roland-Garros and then Wimbledon.

Appearing on HBO’s The Shop, the four-time major winner re-affirmed her love for tennis and explained how she’s certain about returning to the sport “probably soon.”

“For sure I love the sport," she said. "I know I’m gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again. But it wouldn’t really matter to me if I won or lost. I’d just have the joy of being back on the court. Just to, like, you know, that I’m doing it for myself.

Naomi Osaka

“I started to feel like that power was being taken away from me. And the way that I felt, like, I wasn’t playing to make myself happy and I was more concerned about … what would people say about me.

“I used to love the competition and just being competitive. Like if I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me. And then I just started to feel—recently—the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself."

The WTA has four more events this year, including the tour finals in Guadalajara featuring the top eight of players of this season. Osaka is currently ranked seventh in the race to qualify for this event, though her exact return date is still unknown.

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