Match Points: “It’s not because Osaka is winning big and is millionaire that she’s happy”

In the latest edition of Match Points, Marion Bartoli, Carole Bouchard and Simon Cambers discuss what Naomi Osaka can do to get back to her best on the tennis court

August 24, 2021

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has revealed her struggles with mental health this year, detailing the difficulty she has, in particular, in facing the world’s press, especially after a tough loss.

In the latest edition of Match Points, host Josh Cohen asks the panel – former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and journalists Carole Bouchard and Simon Cambers – what Osaka can do to help herself get back on track.

Bouchard: Osaka must solve the puzzle

Bouchard says Osaka needs to love the sport once more.

“Just because you’re a millionaire and winning big, it doesn’t mean you’re happy what you do,” she says. “She needed a break, obviously, she needs to be happy on that court. She needs to solve the puzzle. Serena Williams hasn’t won every tournament, every week, for 20 years. There are always going to be ups and downs.”

Bartoli: Osaka must deal with defeats better

Bartoli says the Japanese needs to learn how to deal with losing matches she expects to win.

“When you have so much success early on, you’re used to success. She’s becoming a global superstar. So then when she has a defeat in regular tournaments, you take it differently.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Olympic Tennis Event Naomi Osaka Japan
Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Olympic Tennis Event Naomi Osaka Japan Credit: Imago / Panoramic

Cambers: Maybe she can reduce her commitments

Cambers says she may need to streamline the things she does off the court.

“Maybe she needs to take the pressure off by not doing so many things,” he says. “I remember Andy Murray, he used to drive his agents mad because he didn’t want to spend much time doing things away from what made him happy. Maybe she’ll do that.”

Naomi Osaka at Tokyo Olympics in 2021
Naomi Osaka at Tokyo Olympics in 2021 ©
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