Naomi Osaka candidly opens up to Nick Kyrgios in very deep & meaningful conversation

Osaka spoke with Kyrgios about her past, present and future.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka candidly opens up to Nick Kyrgios in very deep & meaningful conversation
© Getty Images Sport - Monica Schipper

Naomi Osaka sat down with Nick Kyrgios for quite a deep conversation as the Japanese tennis star candidly reflected on everything that she has been through so far and underlined that her goals for the future include achieving more success and making a positive impact off the court as well. 

Osaka, who celebrated her 26th birthday in October, has been through quite a lot since starting her career as she experienced some of the best moments a player could get to experience but there were also some pretty dark and challenging periods. But after being out of tennis for nearly a year and a half and welcoming her first child, Osaka came back determined to do big things but also leave a legacy and be a good role model and inspiration to her kid. 

In January, it was announced that Kyrgios was joining forces with Osaka's production company Hana Kuma to launch a podcast called "Good Trouble with Nick Kyrgios."

"I have this thing about making history and I don't want my name to be erased ... I want to be remembered at least in one small way," Osaka told Kyrgios on Good Trouble with Nick Kyrgios.

"I know that I'm not going to be here forever, and the only thing is just to keep making life easier and better for the generation that comes after you. And I think, well, I would hope that at least Shai has more opportunities than me."

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Kenta Harada

Osaka not regretting her life and career choices

After lifting her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2021 Australian Open, Osaka's motivation and passion for the game suddenly started going downhill. Then in 2021 May, the infamous French Open press conference case happened and Osaka received major backlash and criticism for her actions. That's when Osaka opened up about her years-long battle with anxiety and depression. 

Since then, Osaka has become an icon in women's sports who is often praised by fellow female athletes and hailed as an inspiration. Also, the 26-year-old Japanese has become somewhat of an ambassador for athletes' good mental health.

"I wouldn't change a thing because, as you know, everything that you've gone through in this career, all your life, you're going to educate so many of the future generations coming up," Osaka noted.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Kenta Harada

Osaka on how Shai is impacting her & why she is aiming for the stars

After announcing her pregnancy in 2023 January, Osaka used that time to also work on her mental health and get to enjoy some other things. All of that had a very positive impact on Osaka, who returned to tennis recharged and now feeling much more grateful about everything she has in her life.

"I think definitely this time away has really given me space to kind of be grateful for everything," Osaka said. 

"I feel like there's one way to say you're grateful, but then to actually have the feeling and appreciate everything, and know that when you were a kid, you would have dreamed to be in the position you are in right now, it's a very happy feeling for me.

"I also think just having a daughter and having her look up to me and wanting to show her everything and all the beautiful places in the world is really cool."

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina

When Osaka was about to start her post-pregnancy comeback, she said that she was returning with a new perspective on life and career and that she was entering the second chapter of her career. Now, Osaka says she does not have "time to waste" and that's why she is working hard on returning to the top as soon as possible.

"I just feel like I don't have time to waste, so I'm trying to be really efficient with everything. I think when I was younger I could hit for three hours and waste time in the middle or whatever. But now I know there's someone waiting for me at home and I have to take care of her. So right now I just feel like every second counts," Osaka said.

So far in 2024, Osaka is 8-7. This week, Osaka started her clay season at a WTA 250 tournament in Rouen, where she suffered a 4-6 2-6 loss to Martina Trevisan. 

While it definitely wasn't the best possible start to the clay season for Osaka, it should be noted that it has never been her favorite surface and that she is now willing to play more on clay because she wants to improve. With that being said, just playing matches on clay and gaining experience is already a win for Osaka.

Next week, Osaka will resume action at a WTA 1000 tournament in Madrid, where she last played in 2022.

Naomi Osaka Nick Kyrgios