World No.3 Naomi Osaka is now in Australia getting ready for the first Major of the season. The Japanese ace won the Australian Open back in 2019, but the 23-year-old is no stranger to nerves while playing Grand Slam matches.
In an interview with Vogue, Osaka revealed that she is excited for the Aussie Open rather than being nervous. But she expects some chills when she plays the first round of the Grand Slam.
“Right now I’m excited because I’m training for it currently but maybe when I’m playing my first round, I’ll be a little bit nervous.”
How does Naomi Osaka calm herself?
“I’ll probably be nervous when I get there. Maybe I’m not so sure. Usually I’m very excited for Grand Slams. But if I was nervous I would tell myself that everyone’s nervous. I don’t think there’s a player that isn’t nervous going into a Grand Slam.”
A few days back, Osaka reached Adelaide in North Australia for her mandatory quarantine. She is one of the eight high profile players staying in Adelaide. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government has mandated a strict 14-day quarantine to foreign athletes, which played a part in pushing the Major to 8th February.
The Aussie Open quarantine bubble has already seen controversies. Many players have now been denied practice because a COVID-19 positive passenger was present on their chartered flight. The players in Adelaide, including Osaka, have not been affected by this. Furthermore, some players have even complained about the food served during the quarantine.
Osaka has won the Australian Open before in 2019. And now, she finds herself to be a three-time Grand Slam champion. She is the reigning US Open champion. Yet the Japanese player remains tensed in her matches, and perhaps it is these tense moments that bring out the best in her.
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