ReutersTOKYO (Reuters) — World No. 2 Naomi Osaka admitted Thursday that the past few months have been “the worst of my life,” and added she hasn’t had fun on the court since winning the Australian Open in January.
Osaka’s triumph in Melbourne was her second successive Grand Slam, following her victory at last year’s U.S. Open, and propelled the 21-year-old to No. 1 ranking in the world.
Since then, the Japanese has failed to win a tournament, lost her No. 1 ranking and crashed out at Wimbledon in the first round to Yulia Putintseva.
Osaka posted a message to her fans on social media on Thursday that explained her recent dip in form.
“Whenever things go wrong I blame myself 100 percent, I have a tendency to shut down because I don’t want to burden anyone with my thoughts or problems,” Osaka wrote.
“Unexpectedly, [through] the worst months of my life have also had some of the best moments cause I’ve met new people.”
“That being said, I can honestly reflect and say I probably haven’t had fun playing tennis since Australia and I’m finally coming to terms with that while relearning that fun feeling.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself and I feel like I grew so much as a person this past year[s] so I’m really excited what the future looks like on and off the court.”
“See you in the U.S. swing.”