What is Next For Naomi Osaka After US Open 2021 Exit?

Published 09/05/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures after missing a shot against Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


World No.3 Naomi Osaka suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open 2021. The Japanese was the defending champion at the Grand Slam and thus, nobody expected her to lose such quickly in the Grand Slam. The final scoreline of the match was 7-5, 6(2)-7(7), 6-4.

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After the defeat, fans and experts are in a dilemma about Naomi Osaka’s future. While many believe that she might return at the upcoming Indian Wells Masters, others are of the opinion that her 2021 tennis season is almost over.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round. Day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

During the post-match press conference, Osaka broke down into tears. She mentioned that she needs a break from the sport and she feels a relief after losing the third-round match at the US Open 2021.

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“I feel like for me recently, when I win I don’t feel happy, I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose I feel very sad. And I don’t think that’s normal… Well, basically. I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” said Osaka in the press conference.

The Japanese star is not sure about her return to the tennis court. She also highlighted that she is planning to figure out what to do next in her career.

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When can Naomi Osaka possibly return to the court?

It looks highly unlikely that Osaka will play at the Indian Wells Masters or Paris Masters this year. As a result, her chances of playing at the WTA Finals 2021 are also quite negligible. In such a situation, the Japanese star can end her 2021 season soon.

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Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits to Leylah Fernandez of Canada. Day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

If she ends her season right now, fans can only see her back at the Australian Open 2022. She is the defending champion there and a 4-month gap will more than enough for her in order to gather herself back. At this moment, this is the most possible scenario.

Even though Naomi Osaka didn’t perform well this season, she still won a Grand Slam title. Fans have huge expectations from her and want her to make a terrific return to the court. Will she be able to finish inside the top-5 players at the end of the year?

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Anshul Singh

1304 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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