‘Talent alone is useless in tennis,’ says a candid Naomi Osaka as she lifts lid on her drive to succeed

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka has lifted the lid on her motivations in tennis, revealing that she cannot envisage herself doing anything else if not the sport she loves.

The world number two burst onto the scene last year after winning the US Open against Serena Williams, and she backed that up by taking the Australian Open four months later too.

She has often appeared to be something of a difficult character to figure out, with flashes of vulnerability peeking through spells of seemingly impenetrable strength.

Now, though, Osaka has attempted to explain a little more about where her drive to succeed in tennis comes from.

“My parents weren’t exactly the richest, so what am I going to do?” Osaka told Allure magazine.

“I’m not really the smartest. I’ve been playing tennis my whole life, you know? So there’s nothing I can imagine myself doing.

“It’s either I have to be the best or I’m going to be homeless.”

Osaka has struggled on the court since winning back-to-back Grand Slams and reaching world number one, but it’s appeared to be more of a mental issue than an ability one.

And that’s something that she can certainly agree with.

“There’s a certain point where talent isn’t useful anymore, and from there you’ve just got to want to win more than everyone else,” she added.

“I think that’s something I noticed from an early age, so that’s what I’ve been fortunate with.

“I mean, the way that I grew up and the circumstances that sort of surrounded me kind of forced me to think that way.”

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