Japan’s former world number one Naomi Osaka said Monday that she will “probably soon” return to the courts, stressing that she feels the “need” to play tennis again after suffering for several months at the mental level.
The winner of the US Open twice (2018 and 2020) and the Australian Open champion (2019 and 2021) said on the “The Shop” program, which is broadcast on the American “HBO” channel: “I know I will play again,” adding that her return will be “probably.” almost”.
“I have that desire again. It won’t really matter whether I win or lose, I just want to enjoy being back on the field.”
Osaka had announced in early September that she wanted to “take a break for a while” after her third round exit from the US Open, followed by a press conference during which she spoke nervously.
“I think I’ll take a while. In fact, I feel like I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and frankly, I don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” she said at the time, adding, “I’ve had the impression lately, I’m not happy when I win. I feel more It’s a relief. And when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think it’s normal.”
Osaka, who failed to win her third title in four years at Flushing Meadows, also collapsed after being knocked out in Cincinnati two weeks earlier.
Three months before that, it announced a controversial withdrawal from the second round of the French championship, Roland Garros, for refusing to answer journalists’ questions. There she discovered that she had suffered from “many depressive episodes”, and she also withdrew from Wimbledon.
Osaka, 23, who is currently ranked seventh in the world, said her problems were exacerbated when she had to appear in front of the media after her matches.
“I loved competing, and just being competitive,” she said. “If I have to play a long game, the longer it goes, the better for me.”
“Recently I started to feel that the longer the match went, the more tense I became, but I just had to take a break to get to the bottom of myself,” said Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
However, the Japanese did not specify whether she intends to appear at the Australian Open early next year to defend her title, which she won in 2021.
© 2021 AFP