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Naomi Osaka - Miami Open 2022

Naomi Osaka reveals goal to ‘put in more time in the French Open and Wimbledon’


Naomi Osaka will be making her long-awaited return next month, and the former No.1 has revealed how some of her goals have shifted since having her daughter.

Osaka last played on the WTA Tour back in September 2022, before announcing earlier this year that she was expecting her first child.

The 26-year-old gave birth to her daughter, Shai, in July and has since confirmed that she will be playing in both the Brisbane International and Australian Open next month.

Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion, having won both the Australian Open and US Open twice, but the Japanese star is eyeing up three other tournaments to add to her trophy cabinet.

“In the first chapter of my tennis I kind of got away with just being myself and playing with my instincts,” said Osaka. “I think I want to be someone that understands the game a lot more.

“I definitely want to win more Grand Slams and I guess put in more time in the French Open and Wimbledon, and play the Paris Olympics.”

Both Roland Garros and Wimbledon have traditionally been Osaka’s weakest majors, and she has only previously played at one Olympic Games.

However, Osaka says that her mindset has shifted since becoming a mother, “I’ve never been a person that’s really good at playing for myself, if that makes sense.

“So I kind of like the feeling of having the responsibility of having to take care of Shai and wanting to show her around the world. I kind of feel more like I’m playing for her.”

Osaka will return to the matchcourt at the WTA 500 tournament in Brisbane, that begins on 1st January 2024, before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

Inside the baseline…

There will be three returning former champion mothers at the 2024 Australian Open, and Osaka is probably the one that will have the most eyes on her. No-one has ever doubted Osaka’s hard court credibility, but it will be interesting to see how she performs on the clay and grass after her latest statement. Osaka will especially have to focus on clay if she wants to do well at the Paris Olympics, with the tennis tournament being held on the grounds of Roland Garros. 


READ NEXT: Angelique Kerber reveals Olympic ‘dream’ ahead of return


 

Naomi Osaka at Grand Slams and the Olympics

Osaka’s performance at the hard court majors differs massively from the natural surfaces, and we at Tennishead have compared the statistics:

Australian Open 

Win-loss Record: 24-5 (83%)

Best Result: Won (2019 & 2021)

Roland Garros

Win-loss Record: 7-5 (58%)

Best Result: Third Round (2016, 2018 & 2019)

Wimbledon

Win-loss Record: 4-3 (57%)

Best Result: Third Round (2017 & 2018)

US Open

Win-loss Record: 22-5 (81%)

Best Result: Won (2018 & 2020)

Olympics 

Win-loss Record: 2-1 (67%)

Best Result: Third Round (Tokyo 2020/21)

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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.