Naomi Osaka Opens Up on Tokyo Olympics 2021 Participation Amid Covid-19 Concerns

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The Japanese-born Naomi Osaka desires to represent her country in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. But amid the pandemic outbreak, hosting the event will not be easy. However, in case it happens, the 23-year-old has her concerns rightly straightened out.

To participate in the tournaments in Australia, the Japanese professional served mandatory two-weeks under quarantine in Adelaide. This gave her a glimpse of what the situation will be in the Olympic Games.

So, when a reporter inquired about the conditions of athletes in Tokyo as compared to Australia, Naomi Osaka answered briefly.

“Honestly, my concern isn’t the athletes,” Osaka said. “The way that I feel is, I have to stay in my room for two weeks to play the Olympics.”

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Tokyo Olympics 2021 will be very special for Naomi Osaka

Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka talks to the media at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette

The former World No.1 started making a name for herself after winning her maiden Grand Slam, the 2018 US Open. Since then, Osaka is part of the elite players on the tour, with the potential to become great.

However, she was not around during the 2016 Rio Olympics, which makes the 2021 Tokyo Olympics even more valuable. “I missed out on the last one and playing in Tokyo would be very special to me,” she added.

But, more than the athletes and herself, the 3-time Grand Slam champion is concerned about the people of Japan. Naomi does not want the Olympics to go forward against the safety of the public.

“My concern would be the general safety of everyone else because you’re opening the country and everyone’s flying in from different places. I feel that athletes definitely would want to play, but I want the public to feel safe,” Japan’s best concluded.

For now, Naomi is competing for the Gippsland Trophy ahead of the Australian Open 2021. Watch her entire press conference here.

Read More: “Get Distracted by the Crowd”: Naomi Osaka Expresses Mixed Feelings After Australian Open 2021 Allows Audience

Osaka’s chances at the Australian Open 2021

Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan practices at Melbourne Park in advance of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 31, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The 2019 Australian Open champion is one of the favourites for the event. But given the long break from tennis, Naomi is still brushing up to her best this season.

Therefore, playing a WTA 500 before the year’s first Grand Slam will be a good boost for her. It will also set up a base for the 23-year-old’s campaign in Melbourne Park.

But with big competitors also aiming to get the title, Osaka has a tough road ahead. Can she pull off yet another Grand Slam title this year?

Also Read: Dark Horses to Look Out for at Australian Open 2021

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