Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka is making a comeback to tennis after a break. Osaka took an indefinite leave after being elbowed out of the U.S Open in September. She went on vacation in Greece.
On Saturday, she posted several photos while she was in practice and went ahead to thank her fans for their kindness.
“Kinda rusty but feels good to be back. I really want to say thank you everyone for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it,” Osaka captioned the photo of her on a tennis court holding a racket.
For the 2021 season, Osaka has not had it easy on the court. It’s been a trying time for her. It has been a rollercoaster of a season for her and a sabbatical from the court was needed.
WHY NAOMI OSAKA TOOK A TENNIS BREAK
Osaka pulled off from the French Open and the Wimbledon citing her mental health was at stake.
At the U.S Open, her resilience was pushed even harder when she lost to World number 73 Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez, she was devastated.
The 18-year-old Canadian thrashed Osaka despite never having played in the Grand Slam.
Her thrashing by Fernandez – 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 – at Flushing Meadows in the U.S Open pushed her to more pain.
The third-round defeat in the U.S Open came with a barrage of mixed feelings for Osaka. And this compounded her decision to take a break from tennis.
“I feel like for me, recently, when I win, I don’t feel happy, I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad,” she told the press after the match.
An emotional Osaka opined that she is at a point in life caught up between a rock and hard place wondering what to do.
Adding that she doesn’t know when she will play her next match, she offered, “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”
NAOMI OSAKA’S LOSS IN WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
In August, Osaka suffered a humiliating defeat from Jil Teichmann in the Western & Southern Open. Jil thrashed Osaka 3-6 6-3 6-3 on the court.
Speaking of her loss, she said that she did her best and would sleep comfortably at night.
The Western & Southern Open was her first major appearance this year after her withdrawal from French Open early in the year.
While explaining why she opted to walk away from French Open, she said that her mental health is at stake.
NAOMI OSAKA BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION
Her decision to stay out of the French Open in the second round and in Wimbledon was the culmination of a three-year journey with depression.
Osaka broke down during the press conference in Cincinnati. The presser was emotional to her and she seemed to try and control herself in order to deliver her speech.
She left the room, before returning after several minutes. She cited that the main reason for her withdrawal from the French Open was her mental health.
She also confessed to battling anxiety episodes before meeting the media which topped to her depression. The losses she suffered in the last months nearly pushed her to the edge.
Naomi Osaka Greece Vacation
As the Indian Wells tournament continued, Osaka was miles away in Greece enjoying beautiful moments.
Her indefinite break from tennis took her to Greece – Osaka had a time of her life on the Greek Island.
And the traveler in her didn’t hold back from sharing her great moments on the iconic island of Mykonos. Or, the historic sites in Greece.
Her photo ops speak of cozy times – especially where she soaks in the sun aboard a boat in Mykonos.
At the famous Temple of Isis (III), she poses against a staggering background of the uncarved rock wall for the temple. She looks sassy and passionate, a testament she is regaining her lost self.
The Temple of Isis (III) towers gallantly on the Greek Island of Delos. It is a haven for photo enthusiasts. The blue skies come into focus and Osaka depicts this clearly.
It mirrors a soul at peace after a daunting season coupled with frustration on the court.
Pundits say that she made a great decision by taking a break and time to gather her thoughts together.
Roger Federer had earlier sympathized with the Japenese saying that press and social media insensitivity was too much for her to handle.