Naomi Osaka Australian Open 2021

‘I feel pretty happy with how I’m playing,’ Naomi Osaka prepares for US Open title defence

Naomi Osaka begins her US Open title defence on Tuesday as she defeated Victoria Azarenka in last year’s final.

The four-time Grand Slam champion has done all her Major winning on hardcourts, however withdrew from Wimbledon citing mental health issues, before exiting Tokyo Olympics in third round.

The world number three will start her defence on the back of a last-16 defeat to Jil Teichmann at Cincinnati Masters, however Osaka is ‘pretty happy’ with her game, but accepts she hasn’t played much tennis in 2021.

“Honestly, I know I haven’t played that many matches. I know that I haven’t even gotten to a quarterfinal [in a while],” she said.

“Actually I feel pretty happy with how I’m playing. I thought I played two really tough matches in Cincinnati. The girl that I lost to, she played really well. I didn’t play her before, so I had no information on her.

“It’s one of those things where you do have to have a match rhythm. Of course, I played literally no tournaments before that match.

“I feel pretty confident with where I am right now. Of course I’m not declaring that I’ll do amazing here. For me, I’m the one-match-at-a-time like person. Hopefully it will work out in the end.”

The Japanese star will face Marie Bouzkova in the opening round on Tuesday.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.