Naomi Osaka wants to further her tennis education and win more Grand Slams
Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka believes that she has a lot to learn about the game in her comeback and hopes that she is able to win more big titles in her career.
Osaka has spoken of her desire to leave an impressive athletic legacy in the sport ahead of her comeback to tennis in 2024.
She has hinted that she wants to be a much more intentional player on her return feeling that she had tried to get by on her instincts alone in what she called the first chapter of her career.
Osaka has been out of the game for well over a year having announced an injury break shortly before revealing she was pregnant in late 2022.
Her Grand Slam trumphs came at the hard court Majors but she hopes to crack what she feels are the toughest nuts in tennis at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Osaka has had her issues with Roland Garros beyond simply getting to grips with clay and will need to find a way to be competitive there if she is to secure an Olympic medal or a French Open title in 2024. She was eliminated in the third round of the Tokyo Olympics tennis tournament, her first shot at glory in the quadrennial event and one that came on her home soil and also her favoured surface.
The former world No 1 believes that a deeper understanding of the game will allow her to translate her excellent hard court game onto clay and grass.
“In the first chapter of my tennis I kind of got away with just being myself and playing with my instincts,” Osaka told NHK.
“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.”
Osaka believes that she will carry herself differently on court as a mother to a daughter.
She gave birth to baby Shai in July 2023 and alarmed some fans with how quickly she returned to light training.
“I’ve never been a person that’s really good at playing for myself, if that makes sense,” she said.
“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 sport at the Brisbane International ahead of the Australian Open.
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