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Naomi Osaka grapples with goal of breaking momentum as Pan Pacific Open returns | Tennis News


TOKYO: Struggle Naomi Osaka on Monday admitted that she’s been through “more than an up” this year as she tries to break out of her slumber at home. Pan Pacific Open this week.
Former world number one and four-time Grand Slam champion has plummeted to 48 in women’s content tennis world rankings after a bad run that saw her drop in the first round of her last three tournaments.
The 24-year-old Japanese has not won a title since last year’s Australian Open and is hampered this season by injury.
But Osaka is hoping to bring the train to WTA event in Tokyo where she is the defending champion, albeit from three years ago when the tournament returned for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
She will face stiff competition from a court that includes US Open semifinalist Caroline Garcia of France, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and Spain’s world number four Paula Badosa.
“This year hasn’t been the best year for me but I’ve learned a lot about myself,” said Osaka, adding that she’s “so happy to be healthy”.
“Life has ups and downs, this year more than down, but overall I am quite satisfied with the current position.”
Osaka stayed out of the top 10 all year and suffered first-round defeats at both the French and US Open.
She withdrew from Wimbledon due to an Achilles injury, after initially considering dropping out because ranking points would not be awarded.
Osaka admitted that her fall from the sports summit was difficult to handle.
“It was quite difficult at first, just because I felt like I should be somewhere that obviously I’m not right now,” she said.
“I think for me it’s more about being at peace with myself. I know I’m here for a reason.”
Osaka said she is looking forward to competing in front of Japanese fans again after attending the Tokyo Olympics last year behind closed doors, but will have to “trust my forehand more”. ” to rebuild confidence after a poor season.
She will begin her campaign with Australia’s world number 55 Daria Saville in the first round.
Osaka pays tribute to tennis legend Serena Williamswho retired after the US Open, and said she’s “get over trying to fill everyone’s shoes”.
“I don’t think you can do it because each person is unique, and we are all forging our own paths and we are all on our own journey.” Osaka said.
“It’s unbelievable all she’s done for this sport and beyond. Just seeing her as a businesswoman is truly amazing.”





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