Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 6, 2024

Indian Wells, CaliforniaNaomi Osaka still has a long way to go, but the former World No.1 is hoping that her comeback can pick up speed this week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Tennis Express

Osaka, off to a 3-4 start in 2024 that featured a first-round loss to Caroline Garcia at the Australian Open, is just eight months removed from giving birth to her baby Skai.

The 26-year-old says it’s important to not be so hard on herself in this her so-called second career.

“Definitely I’ve always told people that I’m a perfectionist and I’ve had I guess dreams, while I was pregnant of what I want to achieve and obviously losing in the first round of the Australian Open wasn’t in my dreams, but I think I have to be realistic and kind to myself. I don’t want to be a downer too much in this part of my career.

“When I went to Doha and I got to the quarters I was really happy about that. I guess I would have loved to go further, but I’m in the [Top 300] now, and I’m actually really excited about that.”

Unseeded and ranked 287 at the moment, Osaka expressed confidence when asked about her current status. She may be unseeded, but deep down she expects herself to be back at the top of the sport – it’s just a matter of time.

“I totally forgot what it’s like to be a top seed–I’m just winging it,” she said, adding:

“When I won it I wasn’t seeded, so I don’t really have too many ties to having the extra day [before playing her first match]. “I feel like it’s better for me to play the seven matches anyways because I want to know what it’s like to potentially win the fifth Grand Slam, so I feel like this is really good practice for me.”

She revealed that she was anxiously looking forward to a showdown with World No.1 Iga Swiatek in Doha, which is another indication of how eager she is to test herself against the world’s best.

“I did feel after I played Pliskova in Doha I was kind of thinking too much into the future,” she said. “I honestly just really wanted to play Iga so I was stressing myself out during that match, so I think just having a lot more matches under my belt will probably calm me down a lot more.”

Osaka will face former Grand Slam finalist Sara Errani in first-round action on Thursday at Indian Wells.