Naomi Osaka shares honest message after promising Doha run ends with tight loss

On Thursday, Osaka was beaten by Karolina Pliskova in the Doha quarterfinal.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka shares honest message after promising Doha run ends with tight loss
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka may have fallen short of winning her first title since 2021 this week in Doha but the Japanese still fully enjoyed her time in Qatar and vowed to return to the Qatar Open next year. 

After debuting in Doha six years ago, 26-year-old Osaka returned to this year's Qatar Open for her second appearance at the tournament. 

When Osaka arrived in Doha, she was riding a three-match losing streak and her confidence was shaken. But that changed in Doha as Osaka beat Caroline Garcia and Petra Martic before Lesia Tsurenko gave her a walkover in their round-of-16. 

On Thursday, Osaka delivered another good performance against another former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova - but still ended on the losing side after the Czech won a tight battle 7-6 (6) 7-6 (5).

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

"Doha you are absolutely one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. It’s been an absolute pleasure playing here, thank you for all the support. Love you and I’ll see you next year," Osaka wrote on X.

Pliskova shows respect for Osaka's game

In both sets, Osaka had a 2-0 lead before Pliskova recovered - forced two tie-breaks - and won them. Pliskova, who now owns a 5-2 head-to-head against Osaka, spoke very highly of the four-time Grand Slam champion following their Doha match.

"Beating all these top players in this week, it’s incredible. Especially Naomi, such a champion," Pliskova said after beating Osaka. "We played already [in 2024] so I knew it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be about a couple points, and taking the chances, which there were just a couple of them.

"Happy that I survived somehow and didn’t have to stay for a third set, that would be difficult."

Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova
Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Osaka won't play again until Indian Wells. On Thursday, it was announced that Osaka decided to skip next week's WTA 1000 event in Dubai. 

After getting some wins and improving her confidence levels in Doha, Osaka will now focus on preparing for the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami.

Naomi Osaka Karolina Pliskova