Naomi Osaka Reveals How Coronavirus Break Helped Her Balance Home and Tennis

Published 01/25/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Angelique Kerber of Germany during their first round Women’s Singles match on Day Two of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


Japanese tennis diva Naomi Osaka has opened up on her lockdown experience and how much the time away from the game helped her reboot ahead of the new season.

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Speaking to fashionweekdaily.com, Osaka said that one should never miss out on moments to relax and recharge one’s batteries, no matter what the profession is.

“Find moments of relaxation no matter what your profession is”: Naomi Osaka

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Born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Osaka said that an occasional break from the game does help her keep a balance between professional commitments and quality downtime with her loved ones back home.

“You’ve to find moments of relaxation no matter what your profession is. Finding a way to decompress really helps keep balance,” the current World Number 3 said.

Osaka, who is based out of California in the United States, said that she pursued other interests during the forced lockdown break and spent hours listening to music, playing video games, sketching, reading manga or watching anime and cooking.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action against Coco Gauff of the United States of America in the Women’s Singles Round three match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

While the pandemic brought an early end to the women’s Tour last year, Osaka withdrew from the French Open saying she hadn’t recovered fully from an injury she sustained earlier.

“Have a group FaceTime with my friends every day”: Osaka

The Japanese said the lockdown, while not desirable for a professional athlete, also gave her an opportunity to catch up with friends on social media.

“I also have a group FaceTime with my friends almost every day. We always rip on and tease each other but there’s nothing like banter with your friends to add some levity to your life,” said the two-time US Open champion.

Though the pandemic cut short the 2020 season, it couldn’t stop the Japanese from recording some personal accomplishments.

She won her third Grand Slam title at the Flushing Meadows and was also named the top-earning female athlete by Forbes last year, eclipsing her idol Serena Williams and former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova in terms of money made from tournaments and endorsements in a calendar year.

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Outside of tennis, Osaka is known to take an active interest in fashion and design. She recently sewed up a big-money deal with a Scottish women’s accessories major Strathberry for a bag line.

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She also made waves at last year’s US Open with a range of self-designed face masks inscribed with messages of support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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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