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Osaka done with being shy: ‘I have a lot of regrets’

andrewhendrie in News 18 May 2020
Naomi Osaka Shy
Naomi Osaka (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Credit Image: © Jason Heidrich/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)


Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is using her time in isolation to reflect, declaring she will be more assertive and showcase more confidence when tennis resumes.

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Osaka may be a former World No. 1, two-time major champion and one of the brightest and most marketable young talents in sport – but she’s also struggled, by her own admission, with shyness during the early stages of her career.

Speaking to CNN, Osaka revealed she ‘has a lot of regrets’ and has missed out on a number of opportunities in her life, simply because she hasn’t spoken up and made herself heard.

“For me, I have a lot of regrets before I go to sleep, and most of the regret is that I don’t speak out about what I’m thinking,” Osaka said.

“There’s a lot of times where I see myself in situations where I could have put my input in, but instead I’ve held my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn’t really enjoy,” she continued. “I feel like if I asserted myself I would have gotten the opportunity to see what would have happened.”

Osaka also took to Twitter earlier this month, writing ‘I’m done being shy’.

“I’m done being shy. It’s really a waste of my time,” she wrote. “I could’ve shared so many ideas by now, I could’ve had convos with so many different people. All the things I could’ve learned but no I’m over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.”

With all forms of tennis suspended until at least the beginning of August, Osaka isn’t one of the players that is training non-stop in preparation for a return.

Instead, the 22-year-old is working on trying to develop other aspects of her life.

“It’s not like I’ll forget how to play tennis and I also don’t want to train five hours a day right now because that’s how you get burned out and you never know when tournaments will start again,” she said.

“I feel like I want to take this time to learn something new or to improve because I’m pretty sure I won’t have this much free time ever again.”

But Osaka, who has slipped down the rankings slightly to No. 10 after failing to defend her Australian Open title in January, is still itching to get back into competition – whenever that may be.

“I will have more of a feeling of gratitude because you never know when something like this will happen again and I miss tennis a lot,” she says.