Naomi Osaka explains what led to her being ready to return to action in Australia

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka credited her team, family and friends for her being able to start the season in Australia. 

Osaka broke down in tears following her US Open exit and said she would take another break from tennis. 

“I would say what probably got me ready again was just talking to people,” Osaka said, per Tennis Majors. “For me, I tend to internalise everything, and I think that might be just based on how I grew up. I didn’t really have that many friends, so I didn’t really talk to anyone in the first place. Then during the off-season I just hung out with my friends and talked to my family a lot. I felt like that was a way of decompressing the pressure I had on myself. Then I just slowly started to regain the feeling of love that I had towards the game. It’s not like it ever completely went away, but I felt like it got overshadowed by a lot of emotions that I was feeling just by constantly playing year after year since I was like — I started tennis when I was three years old, and I never really took a break. Yeah, sometimes it’s just good to remember why you’re playing.”

Osaka thought she wasn’t going to play much in 2022 

Osaka said at the US Open she was unsure when she was going to play next time. 

Now, Osaka admitted she initially thought she wasn’t going to play much in 2022. 

“Honestly, it was much shorter than I anticipated. I actually really thought I wasn’t going to play for most of this year. I think that I’m actually really – I don’t think ‘proud’ is the right word, but I’m really happy with myself that I love the sport that much because I literally said that I was unsure when I was going to play after the US Open, and I’m here right now, and that’s what I did like two years ago. Honestly, I’m on the same schedule as I was, like this is a normal schedule for me,” Osaka added.