Miami Open tennis 2021 – ‘Homesick’ Naomi Osaka makes schedule tweaks in bid for more success
Naomi Osaka says she is tweaking her schedule to give her the best chance of success at bigger tournaments and feels “homesick” if she travels too much.
Osaka is competing this week at the Miami Open near where she grew up as she returns to action following her victory at the Australian Open in February.
The 23-year-old says she chases success relentlessly but is still trying to shape her playing schedule so that she does not feel too stretched.
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“I’m not really sure what a normal schedule is but I’ve never thought of myself to be the type of player that would play week in and week out,” said Osaka.
“I personally get homesick quite often and it makes me kind of sad sometimes.”
The four-time Grand Slam champion collected her second US Open title last September and followed that up with a second triumph at the Australian Open.
Despite her success in those events, the world No 2 has never advanced past the third round at Roland-Garros or the All England Club.
“I’d love to just travel somewhere and just really focus on that tournament; for me that is something that I’ve learned works for me,” said Osaka.
“Hopefully it will work for me this time in Europe because my results there haven’t been that great, but I feel like every year I am on tour I learn more about myself and what type of schedule I like to play.”
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Osaka is the second seed in Miami and has a bye into the second round of the two-week tournament where she has a chance to unseat defending champion Ashleigh Barty as world number No 1.
However, she has never previously made it past the third round in Miami.
“I actually don’t feel any pressure. It’s not like I’m defending here,” she said.
“I’ve never even made second week here before. I feel more fun, like excitement. I want to see how well I can do.”
Additional reporting by Reuters
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