Naomi Osaka reveals approach she is now taking, explains what prompted BJK Cup return

Osaka set to represent Japan in the BJK Cup for the first time since becoming a mother.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Naomi Osaka reveals approach she is now taking, explains what prompted BJK Cup return
© Getty Images Sport - Michael Owens

Naomi Osaka says it is important for her to keep her expectations in check as she insists she is focused on "the bigger picture" and getting closer to where she wants to be instead of solely focusing on results. 

Early in her career, Osaka - now 26-year-old - achieved massive success by winning four Grand Slams and reaching the world No. 1 ranking. In January, in her own words, Osaka started "the second chapter" of her career as she also wants to make some major achievements after returning to tennis as a mom.

So far in her post-pregnancy comeback, the Japanese tennis star is 7-6, with the quarterfinal appearance at a WTA 1000 event in Doha being her best result of the season.

"It's really tough to look at it results-wise. But I have to look at it in a bigger picture and try to expand on my game and expand on the knowledge that I'm constantly learning as a player," Osaka said in her pre-event press conference. 

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Al Bello
 

Osaka on why she accepted to return to the BJK Cup this week

Between Friday and Saturday, Japan will be hosting Kazakhstan in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers tie in Tokyo. For Osaka, this will be the first time since 2020 that she is representing her country in the BJK Cup. 

Addressing her BJK Cup return, Osaka revealed that Japanese captain Ai Sugiyama reached out to her and said she would like to see her back in the competition. 

"She's just always felt very kind and genuine and I always really wanted to try, just to be better in team atmospheres as well," Osaka shared.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Kiyoshi Ota
 

On Friday, Osaka will play against Yulia Putintseva in the second match of the Japan and Kazakhstan tie. On Saturday, Osaka could potentially meet Anhelina Dalinina in her second singles match.

By accepting to return to the BJK Cup this week, Osaka is also hoping to get into this year's Paris Olympics despite not appearing twice in the BJK Cup during an Olympic cycle. 

Naomi Osaka
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