Struggling Naomi Osaka opens up on her slump, fall from top of the game

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Struggling Naomi Osaka opens up on her slump, fall from top of the game

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka admits this season has been "more down than up" for her. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, is just 13/9 this season. Osaka, who is known as one of the premiere hard-court players in the women's game, picked up three consecutive first round losses during the North American hard court swing.

The 2022 season hasn't been great for Osaka result-wise and she is now the 48th-ranked player in the world. "This year has been not the best year for me but I've learned a lot about myself," Osaka said, per AFP.

"Life is ups and downs, and this year was more down than up, but overall I'm pretty happy with where I am now."

Osaka on falling from the top of the game

Osaka, 24, is still considered as one of the most talented players on the WTA Tour and is viewed as someone who has the game to contend for Grand Slams.

"It was kind of hard at first, just because I feel like I should be somewhere where I'm obviously currently not," Osaka admitted. "I think for me it's more about being at peace with myself. I know that I'm here for a reason."

This week, Osaka is hoping to turn the page in Tokyo. On Tuesday, Osaka progressed in Tokyo but on a very unfortunate way. In the Tokyo first round, Osaka clashed Daria Saville, who sustained a horror knee injury in the second game of the match.

After Saville retired the match, Osaka's four-match losing streak came to an end. In the past, Osaka had some notable results in front of her home fans in Tokyo. In 2016, Osaka reached her first Tokyo final before losing to Caroline Wozniacki.

In her last Tokyo appearance - which came in 2018 - Osaka reached the final before losing to Karolina Pliskova. Osaka plays Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Tokyo round-of-16.