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Naomi Osaka will feel 'more gratitude' whenever the WTA tour returns
Speaking with CNN, the two-time major winner added, "I feel like I want to take this time to learn something new or to improve because I'm pretty sure I won't have this much free time ever again."
Published May 16, 2020
Since having to put away her racquet, Naomi Osaka is doing a lot more talking.
The 22-year-old Japanese hasn't been playing a lot of tennis since the tours were suspended, saying it allows her to do something different.
"I feel like I want to take this time to learn something new or to improve because I'm pretty sure I won't have this much free time ever again," Osaka told CNN. "It's not like I'll forget how to play tennis and I also don't want to train five hours a day right now because that's how you get burned out and you never know when tournaments will start again."
Among the things the famously-quiet Osaka wants to change is voicing her opinions more than she had been doing.
"I just want to take the quarantine time to think about everything, and for me, I have a lot of regrets,” Osaka said. "I've held my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn't really enjoy. I feel like if I asserted myself I would have gotten the opportunity to see what would have happened."
Having been thrust into the spotlight since winning two Grand Slam titles and reaching No. 1, she's since slipped slightly to No. 10 and spoken repeatedly about finding it hard to get used to the attention. But now spending weeks at home, she's eager to get back.
"For me, it's a bit concerning, but I know that other players are in the same position as me, probably," Osaka says. "I will have more of a feeling of gratitude because you never know when something like this will happen again and I miss tennis a lot."
And if she achieves her goal, she'll also have a lot more to say when she does start playing again.