Three weeks after telling the world she needed a break from tennis, Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she’s ready to return “probably soon.”
Osaka made her comments on HBO’s The Shop this weekend, according to Bleacher Report.
“For sure I love the sport,” she said. “I know I’m gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again. But it wouldn’t really matter to me if I won or lost. I’d just have the joy of being back on the court. Just to, like, you know, that I’m doing it for myself.”
Osaka says she wants to return to the joy of competition and worry less about what people think if she doesn’t win.
“I used to love the competition and just being competitive. If I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me,” Reuters reported she said.
“Then I just started to feel — recently — the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself.”
Osaka said she needed to step away after her defeat to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the U.S. Open. She had previously withdrew from both the French Open and the Australian Open, citing mental health concerns.
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