Naomi Osaka - Australian Open 2024

Naomi Osaka claims ‘there’s no such thing as failure’ in comeback

Naomi Osaka has reflected on her comeback so far, with the former No.1 winning only one match since returning from maternity leave.

Osaka gave birth to daughter, Shai, back in July and returned to the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International last month, winning her comeback match against Tamara Korpatsch.

However, since then Osaka has lost her last three matches to the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Garcia and Danielle Collins.

Despite this, the Japanese star appears to be relishing life back on tour, “I’ve been enjoying myself. I think I’m taking time to do activities and I guess explore the cities that I’m travelling.”

The 26-year-old continued, “It’s been a little rough results wise, but I feel like I’m growing a lot as a player and hopefully, with more matches, I’ll be able to do better.

“I guess the way that I navigate tour life has changed a lot. So I try to make the most out of my time. And I think, I guess being a mum has helped me with that, because every minute does matter. It’s funny, I find myself being on Shai’s schedule even though I’m here, so I know exactly when she wakes up and everything, so I think that’s cool.”

Osaka’s most recent defeat came in Abu Dhabi, in a convincing straight sets defeat to American Collins, where she lost the last nine games.

Although it was a difficult defeat to take, the four-time Grand Slam champion does not seem to be heaping expectation on herself, “I took a little dip after Abu Dhabi. But I had a talk with my team and I think the most important thing is just to try as hard as I can. Hopefully the results will come.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of tough matches and probably a lot of scrappy ones, but I just have to learn how to have match rhythm again and know that there’s no such thing as failure. You just have to keep getting back up.”

Osaka will play her next match later today at the WTA 1000 event in Doha, Qatar, in a rematch of the first round Australian Open defeat to the aforementioned Garcia.

Inside the baseline…

It was always going to be difficult for Naomi Osaka to adjust, especially when her standards are so high from previous success at hard court tournaments. However, the former No.1 does seem to have things in perspective, given that she only gave birth seven months ago. Osaka has been handed some very challenging draws, which are always a possibility when you are unseeded at a current rank of No.747, so perhaps it would be a good idea for her to play some smaller calibre tournaments following the sunshine double.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.