The Japanese star Naomi Osaka has often exposed herself to pressing social issues. She told in an interview a while ago how she felt when she first did them: “There’s a point where you think to yourself: Well, there’s no going back now.
So I’d say it definitely scared me a lot. When I first posted a statement, on police brutality towards blacks, on Twitter, before wearing masks. That day I pulled out of a tournament and got so many notifications: my Twitter is never exploded that way before.
By accepting and realizing that tennis is a mostly white sport, which is something I knew growing up. Everyone knows that. So I hope, you know, as the years go by, that point of view changes.” After the elimination at the US Open 2022, she said: “Right now I need to relax a little, take a few days off, because there is a lot of chaos in my head, I think too much.
Injuries affected my whole season, just a few days ago I couldn’t even serve well. Today I competed again and on the field I felt something similar to fun. The problem remains not being able to play as I would like and this leads to defeat, which is always difficult.
My biggest wish is to be able to play continuously without back problems. I have the feeling that I gave my best today, I did what I could. The truth is, I have no firm plans for what will happen.”
Naomi Osaka: the best server of the women’s Tour?
Naomi Osaka’s first of serve is one of the young Japanese star’s best shots.
Naomi won in 2022 76.2% of her first serve points. In second place is Qinwen Zheng with 74.4%, followed by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina with 72.2%. Fourth was the Russian Liudmila Samsonova with 71.7% and fifth the Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia with 71.6%, winner of the WTA Finals 2022.
However Osaka has played a few games this season, 23 to be exact. Naomi has faced far fewer opponents in the top ten than most of the other top five in the WTA ranking also, meaning her serve has likely been under a lot less pressure than her rivals.