Naomi Osaka Criticizes Herself Amid First-Round Exit at Australian Open, Six Months After Motherhood

Naomi Osaka reflects on a ‘delusional’ belief in her ability to win the Australian Open just six months after childbirth, following her defeat to Caroline Garcia on Monday night.

Naomi Osaka dumped out of Australian Open
Naomi Osaka dumped out of Australian Open

The Japanese tennis star, a two-time Australian Open champion in 2019 and 2021, experienced her earliest exit since 2017, losing to French 16th seed Garcia in their opening match on Rod Laver Arena, with a score of 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

Osaka, 26, returned to tennis at the Brisbane International after a six-month hiatus following the birth of her daughter, making the Australian Open her first major since the US Open in 2022.

Despite the defeat, Osaka showed promising performance, engaging in a high-quality second set with Garcia. While expressing some hesitancy attributed to her time away from the game, Osaka acknowledged her delusional belief in winning the tournament, a mindset that drives her to succeed.

Garcia, the world No.19, secured the victory with 13 aces and an 89% first serve points won, hitting 34 winners compared to Osaka’s 20.

Osaka admitted feeling disappointed with the result, stating her competitiveness and desire to win matches. She emphasized the need to work hard, play more matches, and remain optimistic about fulfilling her dreams.

Reflecting on the match, Osaka believed she performed at her best and improved as it progressed. Garcia praised Osaka’s remarkable career, resilience during a 15-month absence, and the high level of tennis she showcased merely six months after giving birth.

‘She’s playing amazing already. We have to watch out,’ Garcia concluded.

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