Osaka doet door tennispauze als oud-winnares niet mee in Indian Wells

© Aangeboden door NU.nl

Naomi Osaka heeft zich donderdag niet geheel verrassend afgemeld voor het toernooi van Indian Wells, dat begin volgende maand wordt gehouden. De oud-winnares is er nog niet klaar voor om terug te keren op de tennisbaan.

Osaka had begin deze maand na haar uitschakeling in de derde ronde van de US Open al aangekondigd een pauze te nemen. “Ik weet echt niet wanneer ik mijn volgende wedstrijd zal spelen”, zei de 23-jarige Japanse in tranen.

“Ik denk dat het het beste is dat ik een pauze neem. Als ik een wedstrijd win, ben ik niet eens gelukkig. Het voelt dan eerder als een opluchting. En als ik verlies, ben ik erg droevig. Dat is niet meer normaal.”

Osaka kampt al langer met mentale problemen. De viervoudig Grand Slam-winnares kwam de afgelopen maanden na haar veelbesproken persboycot op Roland Garros slechts sporadisch in actie. De Japanse voormalige nummer één van de wereld is op de mondiale ranglijst gezakt naar de achtste plaats.

Drie jaar geleden beleefde Osaka haar doorbraak in Indian Wells, door op het hoog aangeschreven Amerikaanse toernooi haar eerste titel op de WTA Tour te veroveren.

Het toernooi van Indian Wells wordt normaal altijd begin maart gehouden, maar vindt nu vanwege de coronaperikelen eenmalig in oktober plaats.

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