Naomi Osaka on finding ways to win when not playing well and needing to rise above pressure
Naomi Osaka admits she is still “trying to find ways to win” when not playing well while she also conceded she may have inadvertently put pressure on herself over the WTA Rankings.
After winning 23 consecutive matches on the Tour, including the US Open and Australian Open, Osaka’s winning streak came to an abrupt end in the quarter-final of the Miami Open as she was beaten 6-0, 6-4 by 23rd seed Maria Sakkari.
The world No 2 says there were similarities between Wednesday’s defeat and her third-round loss to Coco Gauff at the 2020 Australian Open.
“I feel a bit similar to when I lost to Coco in Australia, but I think in this match it’s different,” Osaka told WTA Tennis. “I feel I played worse here possibly, but I fought more.
“So I think I am improving in that way, because I feel like even if you’re not playing great you should still find ways to win. I’m trying to find ways to do that.
“Hopefully I don’t lose like this a couple more times, but I think the more times that stuff like this happens, the more I’ll learn from it.”
Osaka had a chance to reclaim the No 1 spot on the WTA Rankings with an appearance in the final and she admitted the pressure may have gotten the better of her.
“The last time I was in this (press conference) seat, I wasn’t really thinking at all about rankings, but someone asked me that question, so then I did start to ponder about it a lot,” she said.
“So maybe unwillingly that put pressure on myself. But I feel like even if it did, I should be able to rise above that.”
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