Naomi Osaka takes a stab at consistency, not No. 1 ranking
Three-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka were on the top of the rankings following her 2019 Australia Open victory but is currently third behind Ash Barty and Simona Halep. Osaka is no longer focused on reclaiming the world No. 1 as she just wants to become more consistence and play every match as hard as she can.
Osaka, who plays former quarter-finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round at the Melbourne Park, won her second U.S. Open title a year ago and is broadly seen as having the capacity to overwhelm the women’s circuit for years to come.
On Saturday, Osaka told reporters “It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to as I remember when I first got to No. 1, I think no one really acknowledge me as No. 1.”
“I recollect I was in Indian Wells and I was talking to someone, they were like, ‘what side of the draw are you on?’ and the No. 1 is always on the top side. It just made me think, wow, people don’t really see me as No. 1 … since that point I just kept trying to prove myself.”
“At the present time I’m at a great spot, I simply need to play each match as hard as possible in the event that it gets to the heart of the matter where I’m ready to be No. 1 once more, I’ll embrace it, however I’m not actually pursuing it any-more.”
Players didn’t have the ideal groundwork for the year’s first Grand Slam because of Australia’s strict 14-day isolation requirement. Osaka pulled out of her Gippsland Trophy semi-last on Saturday with a shoulder “niggle” as she would not like to hazard it before the major.
“Anybody that is somewhat followed me for a piece realizes that I’ve sort of had a slight shoulder thing since like 2018 in Beinjing,” she said.
“It sort of erupted again on the grounds that I played a lot of matches back-to-back. My main focus center is trusting I can rest enough before the Open.”