Naomi Osaka has hinted she may return to tennis sooner rather than later following her withdrawal from the game at the US Open a month ago.
Osaka has told HBO’s The Shop program she has had a change of heart and revealed she will be returning ‘soon’.
“For sure I love the sport,” Osaka said.
“I know I’m gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again.
“But it wouldn’t really matter to me if I won or lost. I’d just have the joy of being back on the court. Just to, like, you know, that I’m doing it for myself.”
The four-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the upcoming WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells, where she won her first title back in 2018.
Osaka also spoke of the troubles she has faced this year.
“I started to feel like that power was being taken away from me. And the way that I felt, like, I wasn’t playing to make myself happy and I was more concerned about … what would people say about me,” she said.
“I used to love the competition and just being competitive. Like if I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me.
“And then I just started to feel—recently—the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself.”