Naomi Osaka Reveals the ‘Role of Love’ in Tennis at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/13/2021, 3:47 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her first round match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka recently opened up about the role that ‘love’ plays in the game of tennis. The women’s World Number 3 cruised past Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the second round of Australian Open on Friday, setting up a mouth-watering pre-quarters clash with 2-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza on Valentine’s Day.

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Osaka thanks reporter for ‘phone call’ she has to make on Valentine’s Day

To a question on what she reckons is the role of love in tennis during an interaction with the media ahead of the Sunday blockbuster, Osaka cheekily thanked the reporter for reminding her to send a “text message” or make a “phone call”.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The reigning US Open champion, who lives in California, is believed to be dating American hip-hop star YBN Cordae.

With her signature wit and sense of humor, Osaka said that, for her, the role of love in tennis would be “love 15, love 30, love 40” before revealing that she has a call to make on Valentine’s Day.

“Honestly, that’s a very interesting question”, she told the reporter before adding, “All I’m thinking about is a text and a phone call that I have to make.”

Waste of time playing a sport you don’t love, says Naomi Osaka

Moving to a more serious take on love in tennis, she said that one cannot be good at a sport unless they learn to love it.

“You can’t be successful at a sport that you don’t love or enjoying playing,” Osaka said, before adding that it’s nothing but a “waste of time” spending a majority of one’s life doing something that they don’t fancy.

She said that for her, it’s all about being “passionate” for the things that she spends a lot of time doing.

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Apart from making heads turn with her tennis, the Japanese star also dabbles in fashion. During her title-winning campaign at the US Open last year, Osaka also courted headlines with her self-designed face masks that were inscribed with messages of support for social movements.

She also sewed up a lucrative deal with a Scottish global accessories major for an exclusive bag line. Osaka has looked unstoppable as she bids for her second Australian Open title this year. Will she go all the way?

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

854 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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