With no date set for return, Naomi Osaka’s time in the top 10 is in jeopardy
Naomi Osaka has been one of the best players on the women’s tour since her stellar season in 2018. She has won four Slams, joining Monica Seles and Roger Federer as the only players to win the first four Slam finals they have played.
The Japanese have reached the top of the WTA rankings, consistently defeating other top players and winning a number of big titles. Therefore, she has been a constant presence in the top 10 of the WTA rankings over the past few years.
However, that could change in the coming months. The Japanese have had an eventful 2021 season since winning the Australian Open trophy. Osaka recently revealed that she suffers from mental health issues.
She first decided to shirk her media responsibilities during Roland Garros to protect her mental health. She then withdrew from the tournament and then chose to miss Wimbledon as well.
She has since played in three events – the Olympics, the Cincinnati Open and the US Open – losing in the third round in each of them. As such, his time in the top 10 could be in jeopardy.
Naomi Osaka struggles to find joy in competitive tennis
Following her loss in the third round at the US Open to eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez, Osaka has announced that she will take another hiatus. At a press conference after her loss, she admitted that she no longer finds pleasure in playing tennis.
“Recently, like, when I win, I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think this is normal. Basically I feel like I’m kinda at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and honestly, I don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. “
Osaka is currently ranked fifth with 4,796 points, just 700 points ahead of 11th-placed Simona Halep. With points from the 2019 Asian swing set to drop in the coming weeks, the Japanese star stands at risk of losing at least 1,470 points if she does not return to the tour.
There are also other factors that will determine whether Osaka can maintain her top 10 status, including the performances of her closest rivals in the remaining tournaments, and whether the Japanese decides to compete at Indian Wells.
If she comes out of the top 10, it will mean a difficult start to the 2022 season. She could face other top players in the opening rounds, which she would like to avoid as the defending Australian Open champion.
The sport certainly wouldn’t be the same without her, so let’s hope that a healthy Naomi Osaka will be back on the pitch soon.