‘I didn’t know my future’ – Naomi Osaka gives hiatus revelation
Naomi Osaka has admitted that after announcing her indefinite break from the sport after the US Open she did not expect much from 2022.
After struggling with mental health issues through much of the 2021 season, the four-time Slam champion announced she would be stepping away from the court following her loss to eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez.
Now, after defeating Alizé Cornet in her first match back since that time in September, Naomi Osaka has revealed that she believed 2022 would be a sparse year.
“I actually really thought I wasn’t going to play for most of this year,” Osaka said after the victory.
“I’m really happy with myself that I love the sport that much because I literally said that I was unsure when I was going to play after the US Open and I’m here right now.”
“In the break I was feeling like I didn’t know what my future was going to be. I’m pretty sure a lot of people can relate to that. Of course you never know what the future holds, but it was definitely an indecisive time.
“But I’m really happy to be sitting here right now.”
Osaka is in Australia as defending Australian Open champion with the 2022 event beginning in less than two weeks on 17th January.
The former world number one has been prolific on hard courts in recent years, winning four of the last seven Majors played on the surface.
As such, kicking off the 2022 season on the hard courts Down Under could provide the best opportunity for the Japanese superstar to climb back to her highest level on the tour.
Osaka will next face Maryna Zanevska in the second round of the WTA 250 Melbourne Summer Set 1.
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