Naomi Osaka Not too Fussed About Regaining World No.1 Spot at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/31/2021, 7:29 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka has confessed that she does want to win back the Number 1 spot but isn’t too fussed about it.

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Currently trailing Ashleigh Barty at Number 2, Osaka has a chance to upstage the Australian and go top at the Miami Open. However, for that to happen, she would need a run of results in the prestigious tournament to fall in her favor.

If Ashleigh Barty falls and Naomi Osaka wins the title

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While Barty reached the tournament semifinals following a hard-fought win over Aryna Sabalenka on Tuesday, Osaka will go to battle against Greek star Maria Sakkari for a place in the last-four later on Wednesday.

Should Barty fall in the semi-final against Elina Svitolina on Thursday, Osaka will clinch the Number 1 spot if she wins the tournament. However, if the Aussie makes the final, she will hold onto her top rank irrespective of whether she lifts the crown or not.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

To a question on whether the thought of regaining the numero uno spot has crossed her mind, Osaka said thinking of all the possibilities that can take her back to Number 1 isn’t a burden she wants on herself ahead of the next game.

However, she clarified that she wasn’t playing down the significance of being Number 1 again just because she has been there before.

“I understand how important it is and what an honor it’d be to be N0.1,” the reigning US Open champion said.

“Not just thinking of it as a straightforward goal right now”: Naomi Osaka on regaining the top spot

Osaka added that she doesn’t want to muddle her mind thinking about how she could get there instead of focusing on her immediate goal of reaching the last four.

“So, right now I’m just thinking that I’m playing this tournament. Every round that I play is against a really tough opponent,” the Japanese star said.

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She added that she is taking match by match, knowing that the more she puts herself in contention to win titles, the closer she would get to her eventual goal of returning as Number 1.

“But I’m not just thinking of it as a straightforward goal right now,” Osaka said.

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The World Number 2 has a tough match on her hands as Sakkari laid down her title credentials with a heroic pre-quarters win over American Jessica Pegula on Tuesday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

820 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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