“Every Player Out There is Sort of Your Enemy”: Naomi Osaka on Coping Up with Isolation in Tennis

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Over the last four years, Japanese tennis professional Naomi Osaka has gained quite a solid reputation. As tennis is an individual sport, it is not unusual to credit the 23-year-old in full for her success. However, the right-handed player regards her team a crucial factor for her latest win.

The former World No. 1 and currently No. 3 won her second US Open and third Grand Slam in October this year.

While the players are all alone out there on the court, they often turn to their box for mental support. Therefore, the players’ team members are there to keep them meeting the demands of the competitions all year-round. Naomi confesses that it was just her and her father before all that is now.

Naomi Osaka in action in US Open 2020 with a bandaged hamstring
Naomi Osaka of Japan hits the ball against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports | Credits: Reuters

“I was traveling with my dad for the longest”: Naomi Osaka

Becoming the highest-ranked Asian player and the first Japanese Grand Slam winner is not something one plans. Naomi, like most, started with family coaching and now walks with a full-fledged team behind her.

“For me, when I was first starting off, my dad was my coach, and to be honest, I was just traveling with him for the longest. But then, when everything started happening, I had my agent, a coach, a fitness trainer, and a physio. So, that’s sort of my core right now and also a hitting partner,” said the Japanese-born Naomi.

Read More: Who is Naomi Osaka’s Coach?

Winner of 6 WTA titles, Osaka has built a strong circle of trust with her team members. Listen to her as she talks about team members, isolation, and other aspects of her life.

“My team saved me”: Osaka opens up on Isolation in tennis

Naomi Osaka with the US Open 2020 title
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. |REUTERS

Naomi shared a very interesting situation from her US Open campaign.

“In New York, we were very isolated and we had a lot of long talks with each other, and I was staying in a house there so I would just find the company in my team and they sort of saved me in that sense.

“Because tennis is really isolating and you don’t really have team members to lean on or teammates, because every other player out there is sort of your enemy so I would definitely say it’s really important to find people that you trust.”

Team Naomi Osaka will campaign next at the 2021 Australian Open.

WATCH: Naomi Osaka Reveals How Play Station Helps Her to Improvise Her Tennis

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