Naomi Osaka is all set to play the semi-finals in her first tournament in over six months. She is now the highest seed left in the draw at the Western and Southern Open. Osaka is the favorite to seal the title, just before the US Open begins. At the US Open too Osaka is one of the most-liked, but she wants to take things one step at a time.
The Japanese superstar survived two tough matches en route to the last four at the ongoing event. She is a two-time Grand Slam winner and is expected to win every time she steps on the court. But returning after so long and under such different circumstances, the World No. 10 believes she cannot be too harsh on herself if she doesn’t manage a win.
In a recent interview, the 22-year-old was asked whether she would be disappointed if she doesn’t leave New York City with a title. She admitted that the goal was always to win, but that she has to respect the situation as well. “That’s a bit tricky, because of course I feel like I came here with the goal to win. But at the same time, the conditions are so different that I feel like I can’t get upset with myself if I don’t win,” Osaka replied.
She said that she would also have to consider other factors like how the other players trained during the break, and what changed in their game.
“I will certainly be disappointed, but, you know, I don’t know how everyone’s been training. I don’t know if there are people that drastically changed their game or anything like that. Those are definitely things that I have to think about,” Osaka stated.
For the moment, she has chosen to focus on herself only. “For me, as long as I keep positive, there is just really nothing I can be mad at myself for,” Osaka opined.
Naomi Osaka will face 14th seed Elise Mertens in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open on Friday. She defeated Karolina Muchova, Dayana Yastremska, and Anett Kontaveit in the previous rounds.