Seeing Naomi Osaka work so hard on a tennis court is bad for anyone who has been following the Game for many years. Fantastic player, fantastic woman and committed to social issues, Naomi is an icon. But on the court, a 4 times Slam champion like her is struggling too much.
Among the various commitments, there is who wonders what will become of her in her professional future. She, who was considered the true heir of Serena Williams. And that it still could be, but she has to understand how important tennis still is to her.
It has not been an easy year for the former world number one, who has struggled with both physical and mental problems this season. The Grand Slam champion talked about the confusion in her head and back pain that accompanied her in this 2022, after the elimination in the first round of the US Open 2022.
What will happen?
She explained: "Right now I need to relax a little, take a few days off, because there is a lot of chaos in my head, I think too much. Injuries affected my whole season, just a few days ago I couldn't even serve well.
Today I competed again and on the pitch I felt something like fun. The problem remains not being able to play as I would like and this leads to defeat, which is always difficult. My biggest wish is to be able to play continuously without back problems.
I have the feeling that I gave my best today, I did what I could. The truth is, I have no firm plans for what will happen. I didn't have faith in my game, so I played more cautiously than I should have. I also feel that I have served far below my means.
Collins is a very aggressive tennis player, she always hit me with a lot of pressure and she hit the ball mercilessly without worrying about how my ball came. I had problems with the forehand, maybe I should train the shot more, maybe I should analyze Alcaraz's forehand, which is one of the best in the world."