Naomi Osaka issues honest message days after feeling pretty down due to Miami exit

Osaka issues a message five day after losing in the Miami third round to Caroline Garcia.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka issues honest message days after feeling pretty down due to Miami exit
© Getty Images Sport - Michael Owens

Naomi Osaka is still feeling frustrated and "really devasted" over exiting the Miami Open earlier than anticipated but also highlighted that there were some positive things and that she is now preparing for the clay season and hoping for some success there. 

In what was her seventh Miami appearance, 26-year-old Osaka made the third round before Caroline Garcia sent the Japanese packing home after giving her a 7-6 (4) 7-5 loss. 

For Osaka, losing to Garcia was pretty disappointing because she entered the match full of confidence and determined to make a really deep Miami result after previously beating Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3 6-4 and Elina Svitolina 6-2 7-6 (5) in her opening two matches. After falling short to Garcia in a very tight match that was pretty much decided by a couple of points, the Japanese former world No. 1 was brutally honest about how heartbroken she felt over the loss.

“It’s extremely frustrating, and it’s probably going to sit with me for a very, very long time,” Osaka said after losing in the Miami third round and also admitted in the same press conference that "I'm not thinking positively about myself now."

Five days after her Miami exit and taking some time to reflect and analyze her Miami run, Osaka admitted that she still feels devastated about the loss five days but refused to be fully negative about the situation.

"Honestly really devastated to have lost but extremely grateful and thankful for the support, it was so fun to play in an atmosphere like this again. I'm excited to see how far I can go and where life takes me," Osaka said in a message titled "thoughts leaving Miami."

"I think my second match was definitely the best match l've played so far and I hope I can play many more matches like that in the future.

"Hitting on clay now and it's different but fun, let's see what happens."

Osaka confirmed this week where she plans to start her clay season

On Thursday, it was announced that Osaka accepted a main draw wildcard into a WTA 250 tournament in Rouen, which is starting on April 15th. For the 26-year-old Japanese, it will be her first appearance at the tournament. 

Also, it will be Osaka's first appearance in a clay tournament since the 2022 French Open, during which she was beaten in the first round. Over the last couple of years, Osaka hasn't really played much on clay as she has taken part in just five clay tournaments since 2019. 

But this year that is set to change as Osaka definitely plans to play more on clay than in recent years. Before starting her post-pregnancy comeback, Osaka hinted that she would aim to play on clay and grass more this season when speaking about her desire to keep improving and make more big results. 

After Rouen, Osaka will also likely compete at WTA 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome, before concluding her clay season at the French Open. 

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

But before Osaka kicks off her clay season and Rouen debut, she will make a brief stop in Kazakhstan as she is set to represent Japan in their Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers tie between April 12-13. 

Osaka has major goals but what she considers 'a success' now?

Even during pregnancy, Osaka was already very talking about how she would return motivated to win several more Grand Slams and add more huge success to her resume. But four months into her comeback, Osaka is 7-6 and has had just one quarterfinal appearance in six tournaments played. 

While Osaka's post-pregnancy comeback is still in its early stages, it is clear that the four-time Grand Slam champion is eager to win now and doesn't want to win too much before big results start happening. 

Earlier this month, Osaka noted in one of her interviews from Indian Wells that winning more Grand Slams remains her ultimate goal but also revealed that for now she would also find satisfaction in just competing well, leaving it all out there and having nothing to regret in that sense after matches.

"Honestly, I'm not really chasing the No. 1 spot right now. Like, that's such a... if I could get there in, like, three years or, I don't even know what's going to happen in that time, but that was never really the reason I came back," Osaka said.

"I wanted to win more slams. That's why I came back. But I think I determine success right now just by the effort that I put in, and I feel like today I don't think I played well at all, but I tried every point...  I can walk off the court knowing that, although I'm sad about the loss, I know that I tried every possible way to get back in the match. I guess that's how I determine success right now."

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

For Osaka, making a deep Rouen run at the start of the clay season could be huge for her confidence and potentially set her up nicely for a great clay swing.

Naomi Osaka Caroline Garcia