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Naomi Osaka Candidly Reveals Why Things Went South After She Realized Her Biggest Dream; “Felt Like I Wasn’t Good at Anything Except…”

Tanmay Roy

Naomi Osaka Candidly Reveals Why Things Went South After She Realized Her Biggest Dream; "Felt Like I Wasn’t Good at Anything Except..."

After taking a year off due to pregnancy and childbirth, Naomi Osaka returned to the tennis circuit in 2024. Although the reception and the performance haven’t been the same for the 4-time Grand Slam winner, she has still been consistent in her appearance in every tournament since. Now, the new mother has opened up about her slump in form and is positive about her comeback.

Naomi Osaka tasted unbelievable success too early too young. From 2018 to 2021, when she was 24 years old, Osaka won all 4 of her Grand Slams and believed she had everything in tennis she sought to achieve. However, this ended up being a worry as she started to feel as if she was only good at tennis.

Speaking to The Guardian, Osaka said, “It was a lot. It shaped my personality in a way, too, or my character. It also made it so that once I felt like I achieved that goal, I didn’t know what else to do. So I kind of felt stuck.”

She continues, “As humans, I think we all have goals and once we accomplish them, we don’t really know what to do. But it was quite tough on me to just think about my family. I always felt like I wasn’t good at anything except tennis. So if that was taken away from me, I didn’t know what I was good at.”

Soon enough. owing to this nature of overthinking and worrying too much, Osaka struggled with her mental health. She also believes she is delusional, and it’s something she’s had since she was a kid.

She said, “I’ve had this since I was little. But the people they call crazy are usually the ones that are the people that do something really spectacular.”

The star goes on to further expand on her ‘delusional trait,’ saying,

“My delusional trait is probably me daydreaming and inventing a scenario I want to happen and sometimes they do happen.”

Amidst all this internal struggle, it is impossible to imagine what she has achieved. Come 2023, Osaka bowed out of the Australian Open due to her pregnancy. This was a clear break from her career, and also life which was moving at a rapid pace.

How life has been for Naomi Osaka after her pregnancy and childbirth

Naomi Osaka gave birth to her first child ‘Shai’ in July 2023, with rapper Cordae. She also put out an adorable tweet at the time, dressing her newborn baby in clothes with tennis prints. Motherhood has definitely left an indelible mark on Osaka.

Post-childbirth, Naomi Osaka came out with a newfound perspective on life and her career. She has far more respect for mothers all around but also has incredible gratitude towards the sport she so dearly loves.

She said, “It forced me to see life in a different way. I know a lot of people probably think I retired in that year but it just made me a lot more grateful for the sport and, in turn, made me just know there’s so many possibilities outside tennis and I realised I would still love to play tennis.”

Sure enough, Osaka was back playing tennis from this year’s Brisbane International. Although she ended up losing to Karolina Pliskova in the round of 32, the 26-year-old has since participated in the Australian Open, Abu Dhabi Open, Qatar Open, Indian Wells, Miami Open, Open De Rouen, Madrid Open, and Italian Open.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t seen much success in any of these tournaments, as the closest she reached was the quarter-final of the Abu Dhabi Open. However, Naomi Osaka and her fans will be eager for a title win very soon.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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