Naomi Osaka hasn't had much success this year on her comeback, but she's hopeful things will improve in the coming weeks.
It's a bit hard to judge Osaka's comeback because there are so many variables. On the one hand, it's great to see her back on the tennis courts, willing to compete regularly, but on the other hand, it's kind of odd seeing her struggle so much.
Her tennis has generally looked pretty decent, and she won a match, but she hasn't had much luck with the draws. Most of the matches she did lose came against players who are pretty good themselves, so in a sense, they weren't that surprising.
Still, Osaka is ambitious. Speaking to Bloomberg, the Japanese player admitted that she hasn't been too content with the way things have gone, but there are some positive takeaways as well.
"Obviously, I would’ve wanted to do better in Australia. But I played really great players. I guess going into those tournaments I didn’t want to be losing 6-0. So, I accomplished one of my goals already."
In a way, her level has actually been pretty good, at least when things are put in perspective. However, her fitness hasn't been so good, and it clearly needs a lot of improvement. She's lacking match fitness, and it's holding her back, and there is only one way to fix that - playing matches.
"But I think I’m at a pretty good level. Hopefully I’m able to pull off some scrappy wins and get the confidence to beat the players I want to beat. Right now, I have to keep playing matches."
We'll see how things go at the 2024 Qatar Open in Doha for her. The Abu Dhabi Open experience wasn't very good, but hopefully, Doha will bring some positive news, well outside of the draw, which is another tough one.