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Naomi Osaka new mindset gives fans renewed hope

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naomi osaka new mindset
Naomi Osaka in Brisbane. Photo/People
  • Naomi Osaka new mindset is so great
  • She is enjoying the game more than before
  • She is not afraid of losing

Naomi Osaka new mindset is so great that she is worming her way into the hearts of more tennis fans than before at the Brisbane International Open.

For those who know Osaka well, they know how hard the past two seasons have been for her. The 2021 WTA season was the hardest for her because she suffered a big deal from anxiety attacks.

She confessed to suffering from episodes of anxiety whenever she got into a press conference and it was never like this before.

This anxiety morphed into depression which made her withdraw from WTA Tour after the first round at the French Open and headed for a vacation in Greece to unwind.

She cited the need to protect her mental health. Her decision sparked a huge debate about mental health among tennis players.

Naomi Osaka New Mindset

brisbane international open

Naomi Osaka. Photo/Sportstar – The Hindu

Following a 15-month absence, Osaka finally returned to the court a changed person. First, she is now a mother of one – her daughter Shai is now six months old.

All her tennis success henceforth goes to her which is a big motivation for the Japanese-born tennis player.

Although she lost in her second game at Brisbane, she is happy to be back. She lost to Czech player Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.

She understands that there are things she cannot control and this is a big change of mindset for her. Initially, she experienced a flush of emotions which impacted her judgment.

“I think I’m enjoying myself a lot more, and I also realize there’s a lot of things that aren’t in my control. I feel more aware that I’m playing the best players in the world. Both of us have an opportunity to win,” she told a press conference.

Another factor driving her change in mindset is her determination to get back at the top of WTA ranking.  She is enjoying the feeling of being on a tennis court to play more rather than winning Grand Slams.

Osaka trained hard after giving birth because her resolve is to solely play to the best of her ability and make Shai proud.

Naomi Osaka Credits Serena Williama and Maria Sharapova For Her Comeback

She says that her comeback was inspired by Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams who gave tennis their all.

Serena played tennis for years after the birth of her firstborn, Olympia Jr while Sharapova gave her best before retiring to start a family.

“I also just think I’ve trained so hard after giving birth that I need to enjoy these moments, and I also think in a way watching (Maria) Sharapova, Serena (Williams) retiring, I know that the tennis lifespan isn’t that long, so I should enjoy it while I can.”

The fact that she enjoyed her time in two matches talks big about Osaka’s changed mindset. Just a few weeks ago, she confessed that she was in doubt about what she would offer but still went on to play.

naomi osaka new mindset

Naomi Osaka playing at the Brisbane International Open. Photo/NBC Sports

“I think for me even stepping on the court is a personal win because a couple of weeks ago I was even doubting if I could play with everyone. So I guess these two matches that I’ve had kind of prove to me that I am doing OK, and the year is just going to get better for me,” stated Osaka.

Surprisingly though, is that Osaka was the fourth highest-paid tennis player in 2023 despite her absence. The four-time Grand Slam champion reportedly made $15 million in 2023 from various endorsements and sponsorships.

She says her plan to play more tournaments starting in 2024 is good news to her fans. The rationale behind this decision is to ensure that she regains her form after over a year off the court.

Since Osaka is aware that it takes multiple matches to get comfortable, participating in more competitions allows her to start over and develop her portfolio.

She denied retirement claims in March after learning about her experience becoming a mother. The Japanese tennis star, who is 25 years old, claimed that her career is far from over.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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