Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has returned to the practice court as she is preparing for the 2022 season.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, hasn’t played since losing to Leylah Fernandez in the US Open third round.
After the Ferrnandez loss, Osaka broke down in tears and said she would take another break from tennis.
Osaka decided to skip the rest of the 2021 season but she should return to action at the start of the enxt season.
“Kinda rusty but feels good to be back. I really want to say thank you everyone for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it,” Osaka wrote in an Instagram post.
‘Osaka takes her media obligations too seriously’
Former Japanese tennis player Kimiko Date-Krumm believes Osaka is taking her media obligations too seriously.
“Osaka and I have one thing in common,” said Date-Krumm.
“We rose up the rankings very suddenly and we weren’t really prepared for what it meant. Her personality is one that takes everything to heart in a serious way and I think this exacerbates the problems she’s had.
“You can deal with the media in many ways; you can say everything to them, or a little bit or nothing. I get the impression Osaka actually takes her media obligations too seriously. Maybe she thinks she has to answer all their questions and so feels pressure that way. I really understand her feeling.”
Osaka admitted that speaking to reporters after losses is something that is hard for her.
“When I was rising in the rankings, it was mainly just the Japanese media and there was no internet then, but everything Osaka does is reported worldwide, so the pressure she feels is so much greater,” Date-Krumm stated.
“I think all the top players are affected by stress that affects their mental health, but they have to find a way to deal with these problems. You can’t refuse to attend press conferences just because you lose. You have to find a way to deal with the media.”