Naomi Osaka’s first match in a grand slam since returning late last year from maternity leave and mental health break will be a tough one.
She’s scheduled to face 16th seed Carolina Garcia in the first round of the Australian Open.
Osaka is currently unranked due to her long hiatus. The match up isn’t impacting Osaka’s confidence.
“I don’t want to put pressure on myself, but I do think I can win a slam this year. It’s a long season and I’ve beefed up my schedule with more tournaments to give myself more match play. I think that I’ll be in a great place come summer hard court swing,” she told Daily Express.
She acknowledges her first-round match will be tougher than most and certainly isn’t underestimating Garcia’s competitiveness.
“Yeah, in a weird way I’m glad I’m playing a seed so that hopefully, if I get through that, the next match won’t be as difficult,” Naomi Osaka said, reported Sportskeeda Tennis. , “This is tough, but I definitely think I can achieve what I want to achieve. Hopefully during the match I’m able to, I guess, have things go my way.”
Meanwhile the world’s number five-ranked player, Jessica Pegula, has been forced to pull out of the semi-finals in the Adelaide International. The tournament had been meant to be her tune up before the Australian Open.
Pegula forfeited her match to No. 15 Daria Kasatkina due to GI illness or the so called stomach bug.
The Australian Open is set to open in two days.
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