Japanese Naomi Osaka has never had the chance to compete in the Olympic Games, so she firmly hopes that the Tokyo edition, postponed as early as 2020, can go on stage this year. Born in 1997, Naomi won two titles at the US Open and one at the Australian Open, reaching the top position of the WTA rankings exactly two years ago.
In recent weeks, the state of Japan has seen rapid growth in COVID-19 infections and has found itself forced to impose a state of emergency. According to a recent poll, 80% of the population would prefer the Olympics to be canceled.
Talking with Agence France-Presse, Osaka said: “My concern is for the safety of all people, because we should open the nation to everyone. Everyone arrives by plane from different places. I just want the public to feel safe."
Naomi Osaka: "I am worried but I want to play Tokyo Olympics"
Despite the difficulties in setting up an event like that of the Olympics in the historical period we are experiencing today, the current number 3 in the world said she was ready for any measure to take part in the tournament.
She added: "I will stay in my room for two weeks before to take the field for the Olympics. I missed the last ones. Playing in Tokyo would be very special for me." Naomi's main goal can only be to win the gold medal, as revealed last summer: "It would be the greatest achievement in my career, even if this in a sense depends on the timing.
I participate in the Grand Slams every year, while the Olympics are held every four. I don't have that many opportunities to win a medal." Also present in Tokyo the Czech Petra Kvitova, who in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 won the bronze: "I really hope that the Olympics will be played.
For me, the Games are very important," the 30-year-old told the same news agency. The next few days will see Naomi Osaka playing at the Australian Open, where she did not make it through the third round last year, after the defeat to Cori Gauff.