Osaka. / Picture: USA TODAY Sports
Tennis star Naomi Osaka changed her view of her life as a professional athlete almost three months after her retirement from the French Open and publicizing the depressive phases. At the tournament in Cincinnati, the world number two declared after moving into the last sixteen that she didn't want to be anywhere else in the world to play tennis than in the USA. She feels privileged to play in front of fans who would come for her.
In her remarks, the 23-year-old referred to Haiti – her father's homeland, which was shaken by a severe earthquake – and Afghanistan, where the Taliban have taken power again. She also described the restricted life during the corona pandemic as stressful.
“Even if I had lost, I would have felt like a winner,” said Osaka after the 4: 6.6: 3.6: 4 against US youngster Coco Gauff on Wednesday. It was the first win on the WTA tour for Osaka since the French Open. Most recently she played at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but lost there in the round of 16.