Naomi Osaka: Tennis star hints at tough year as she celebrates entering 2022


Tennis player Naomi Osaka has hinted at a difficult 2021 as she celebrates the New Year.

The quadruple Grand Slam champion has been on hiatus since leaving the US Open in the third round in September.

After her loss to Leylah Fernandez, Osaka revealed that winning doesn’t leave her happy anymore and losing makes her “very sad”.

As a result, she put her sanity first and stepped away from tennis.

The 24-year-old had previously skipped Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier this year, and stepped out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the third round. She also slipped in the world rankings from number two to 13.

In a message to celebrate the New Year, Osaka seemed relieved to leave 2021 behind.

“I have never been this excited in a year,” she wrote on Twitter.

Fans responded to assure Osaka it would have a successful 2022, with one writing: “Amen! 2022 is going to leave 2021 in its place … well behind us! However, even painful years are years of growth. “

Another replied, “You had an unfairly difficult time last year. I pray that 2022 will be your year! I wish you everything your heart desires.

Last year wasn’t so bad for Osaka, who won their fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

She has now arrived in Melbourne to defend her title and has appeared excited, relaxed and happy on social media.

Osaka will make its first appearance in four months at the Melbourne Summer Set, which runs January 3-9.

The WTA 250 event is divided into two tournaments and features a lineup of stars.

Osaka could come up against seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and former world number one Simona Halep.

The Australian Open then begins on January 17th.

Osaka is the only of last year’s semi-finalists to enter the 2022 draw – Serena Williams, Jennifer Brady and Karolína Muchová have all retired due to injury.

However, the field is still filled with talent and home favorite Ashleigh Barty will be seen as the player to beat.

The world number one and two-time Grand Slam winner has yet to triumph at the Australian Open, reaching the semi-final in 2020.

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