The two-time Slam champion wants to play the US Open, but does have her worries. Though she has been active in the public eye as she uses her expansive starpower and social media platform to push for social justice, 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka is eager to get her 2020 tennis season back on track while at the same time admitting that it is a scary proposition.
In a candid video interview with Time Magazine the two-time major champion talked about Racism in Japan and Colin Kaepernick as well as the US Open and 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Naomi Osaka in TIME 100 Talks Asia virtual eventhttps://t.co/ghFhdwZ8UT
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) June 17, 2020
“I want to play,” Osaka said of the 2020 US Open. “For me right now I’m definitely preparing as if it’s going to happen.”
She added: “I’m also concerned. I don’t know if they’re really prepared for this. If the rules keep changing and also if there’s going to be another spike, you never know what’s going to happen.”
In light of the announcements that the WTA and ATP Tours have made about restarting tennis in early to mid-August in collaboration with the ITF, the US Open and Roland Garros, Osaka admitted that the travel is a scary part of getting back to the sport.
“I think I would just be worried about travelling because tennis players have to travel quite often,” she said.
No matter what happens, the announcements have put a bit more urgency into Osaka’s day-to-day activities. She says she has enjoyed parts of quarantine, like re-connecting with reading (as opposed to being a TV junkie) and lending her voice to the cause of social justice, but she is aware that the time for tennis is near again.
“I’ve been practicing recently,” she said. “I think tuning up my game tennis-wise, it’s more like I’m just trying to get my balance back to, I guess, the things that I’ve been working on before quarantine.”
If there is one thing that the 22-year-old has missed more than any other, it would be the stirring battles that she used to regularly take part in with the WTA's best. Osaka says she misses the competition most.
“I think all athletes are really competitive and when there’s nothing to compete for it’s a bit boring.”