Pam Shriver feels simply playing more tournaments and matches is the key to Naomi Osaka rediscovering her top game. Osaka, 24, hasn't won any titles since winning her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2021 Australian Open.
Last year, Osaka ended her season after the US Open. This time, Osaka has continued her season beyond the US Open as last week she competed in Tokyo. This season, Osaka has appeared in just 11 tournaments, which is basically one tournament per month.
"It had to happen," Shriver said on Tennis Channel's Inside-In podcast, per Sportskeeda. "Listen, it was a tough draw to play (Danielle) Collins first round. Naomi didn't play badly and I was texting Stuart, her business partner like, 'you gotta play more!', and it's like, 'okay but she has to want to play more.
I'd like to see her play a couple more tournaments before the end of the year. Naomi might learn a little bit."
Shriver feels Osaka just needs matches
After appearing in just four tournaments in 2006, Williams kicked off her 2007 season with a bang as she made it all the way at the Australian Open.
Shriver feels the talent is still there for Osaka, but the Japanese just needs matches and to build up her confidence again. "Reflecting back on some of Serena's long journey, when I think back to how Serena was able to win the 07 Australian Open, outside the Top 70, unseeded, out of shape, hadn't played any matches, and then worked her way into form.
Really, the best way to do that is just to play matches. You get sparks of motivation by seeing glimpses of your best self and then that makes you want to go out and work harder," Shriver explained. Osaka is now the 46th-ranked player in the world, but many feel she is still among the most talented players in the game.