With only 11 matches played so far in 2021, Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka confessed on Tuesday that she has yet to experience the full weight of the tennis “bubble” regime.
The world No. 2 set to return to the courts at this week’s Miami Masters said she is hoping to get into the isolated rhythm forced onto Tour events by COVID-19 precautions.
The Japanese player who has never been past the third round here, is unsure what to expect when she picks up the pace of her scheduling in the new normal conditions of the WTA.
“I’m not what a “normal” schedule is,” she said prior to her start at the tournament being played in a stadium parking lot with strictly limited daily crowds of 750 people.
“I get homesick quite often, and that makes me kinda sad.”
With players now limited at every event to life between hotel room and playing venue, monotony is a constant threat. But Osaka said she won’t enter events just to keep moving on the Tour.
“I haven’t played many bubble tournaments, but they do feel a bit more stressful and more limited,” she said.
“One of the perks of the sports is the travel and seeing new things, but we can’t really explore anything now.
“But I’m not complaining about it, you just have to go in with a different mindset.
Main photo:- Naomi Osaka with 2021 Australian Open Trophy and TD Craig Tiley by Tennis Australia/ VINCE CALIGIURI