HomeAsian AmericansAbu Dhabi Blockbuster: Naomi Osaka to Play Grand Slam Finalist

Abu Dhabi Blockbuster: Naomi Osaka to Play Grand Slam Finalist

Continuing her return to tennis, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka will face 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins in the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open’s first round.

This will be the third tournament of her post-pregnancy comeback, receiving a wild card to go to Abu Dhabi.

The former world No. 1 went 1-2 in Australia losing to two former Top 10 players, Carolina Pliskova and Caroline Garcia.

Her future first-round opponent, Collins, won two straight-sets matches earning her spot in the main draw. Osaka was randomly drawn to compete against her.

However, the first-round matchup is not the only foreseeable challenge for the returning player; every potential matchup thereafter will be extremely tough. If she moves on from the first round she would then be up against 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina.

In July 2023, Osaka had her first child but has since reiterated her strong desire to compete.

After her exit from the Australian Open, Osaka said per Tennis 365, “Coming here and I guess splaying these three tough matches, I feel positive that I’m able to play, I’m at least able to challenge them.”

Tennis World USA also reported that the player is facing frustrations, but is clearly motivated with a strong desire to win.

“The competitive in me is really frustrated that I’m not winning these matches, of course,” Osaka said, per Tennis World USA.

However, she is far from giving up.

“I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments. I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments,” she said said.

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