Naomi Osaka Feels More Comfortable In Her Skin After Tennis Hiatus

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After her hiatus, Naomi Osaka makes a grand re-entrance, clinching a first-round victory at the Australian Open. This is her first time on the professional court since her withdrawal from the French Open last Spring. Considering she left the scene due to mental and emotional stress, the tennis community was curious about her present state of mind, and the 24-year-old assures everyone she’s better.

How Does Naomi Osaka Feel About Coming Back?

As a two-time Australian Open Champion, Naomi Osaka said, “It always feels special for me to come back here. I played the warm-up tournament before the Grand Slam, and I have a lot of really good memories here. It feels really nice to start the year in this tournament.”

She further stated, “I would say I feel more comfortable in my skin if that makes sense. Like there’s always the human nature to feel uneasy, to want to please everyone and stuff like that.” Unlike the period before the French Open when she felt judged mid-game, Naomi says, “basically right now I’m trying to learn how to be more selfish, but in a positive way.”

How Does Naomi Osaka Plan To Reclaim Her Top Spot?

This year, the pressure is off for Naomi Osaka as she rearranged her priorities. She’s done with people-pleasing and obsessing over perfection. Explaining what that meant, she said, “I just want to have fun, first of all. I can’t expect myself to win every match, but I do expect myself to have fun and challenge myself.”

The 24-year-old is off to a good start after winning her first five games 6-3, 6-3 against Camila Osorio.

How Does Naomi Osaka Feel About Camila Osario

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The four-time Grand Slam winner stated she knew nothing of her opponent, Camila Osorio, before playing against her. That, however, didn’t hinder her from bringing her A-game, and she graciously commended the young Colombian player even after claiming a victory against her.

She said, “I think I played well in the circumstances. I didn’t really have any information on my opponent, but I thought she played amazingly. She was fighting for every point, and I think that was really good quality.” Naomi then quipped a word of encouragement, “I’m sure we’re going to see her on this court pretty frequently.”

Reaction To Djokovic’s Deportation

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Novak Djokovic failed to meet Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rules, so he got sent back. The incident almost overshadowed Osaka’s comeback as reporters asked her opinion on Djokovic’s deportation. Although the question surprised her, she handled it with grace and class then redirected the attention back to her skill.

“I mean, to be completely honest, it didn’t really affect me. I saw that it affected the men’s draw a little bit, so you might have to ask a men’s player,” Naomi replied. She then emphasized her new game plan to prioritize herself and health, “For me, my goal, like even before this whole situation, is to just focus on myself more, what I need to do to become better.”