In a column for the Fast Company, Naomi Osaka shared how her expectations and mentality changed since she won her second Grand Slam title earlier this year. The Japanese player said: "When I won the 2018 U.S. Open, a lot of people asked me, “How has your life changed in one year?” I didn’t feel like anything changed.
But after I won the 2019 Australian Open, I started feeling different. If I lost a match, it became news everywhere, and I would pay more attention to my losses. They were harder to get over. Sometimes, I got depressed during practices and (felt) like there were a lot of expectations on me.
I started to question my ability, which I had never really done before. I have a tendency to shut down in those moments. It’s hard to keep having fun playing tennis." Osaka also opened up on possibly the dark side of tennis: "During the tournament season, I’m traveling to a different country every week or two.
My older sister (Mari, a tennis player) is my best friend—I call her a lot when I’m on the road. Growing up, she was my hitting partner, and my dad was my coach. He’s actually coaching me now at the Japan Women’s Open.
The training was harder when I was younger. I used to spend all my time on the court. We would literally eat lunch sitting on the ground."