Naomi Osaka is far removed from her best days, but she's looking to other players for inspiration on her comeback.
Osaka was once the dominant force in tennis, but it's been a while since that happened. The Japanese player returned to the sport a few weeks ago, hoping to return to her best days.
She wasn't shy about stating her lofty goals, considering how her career had trended in recent years. The comeback has been quite shaky so far, which was expected, but she also noted there are a lot of great players right now in the game.
Women's tennis always included a higher dose of parity compared to the men's side, but she's quite amazed by the number of really good players at the top at the moment.
Players like Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, and Coco Gauff inspire her to work harder on her comeback and reach a level where she can challenge them, and she spoke about them ahead of the 2024 Qatar Open, where she's set to compete at the WTA 1000 tournament.
"I don't know. I feel like I have only been at four tournaments, one of them was a slam, but I think the biggest thing that I have noticed is that there are so many quality players."
Peak Osaka would obviously have a lot to say in today's women's tennis, but we'll have to see whether she can actually find that level again. There are very few people who would dismiss it outright, but ultimately, we'll have to see it to believe it.
"Of course it was like that when I left, as well, but I think just watching the top players play like Iga, Sabalenka, of course, Coco, and just seeing them kind of grow into their games was really inspiring for me. It made me really want to play them."
She's certainly motivated and believes herself capable; otherwise, she wouldn't have said that she wants to win multiple Grand Slams in the coming years.