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“When I was coming on tour, I kind of thought like he was my brother. Like we kind of look the same to me” Osaka on her equation with Kyrgios
After hitting together prior to the Miami Open, Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios have been sharing insights into their equation off the court
Before the Miami Open got underway, two of tennis’ most enigmatic stars – Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios – got together for a hit in Los Angeles where Osaka was given tips on her serve by the 26-year-old Australian.
Since then, there has been plenty of interest about the equation between the two. A few days after Kyrgios spoke about Osaka in his press conference, the Japanese icon shared some of her insights into their equation, revealing that Kyrgios reached out to her after her tearful US Open exit, where she announced she would be taking a break from the game.
“I don’t know if he wants me to even talk about this, but I would say probably after US Open or something, he reached out. For me, it’s been very interesting to watch him, just because I never really could tell like what his actual personality was like. But, I would say he’s a nice guy, very polite, and we have talked about stuff like that but not really deep kind of. Kind of more surface level. “
The two have plenty in common -both incredibly talented at the sport, both have struggled in the past to deal with life in the limelight, and both have spoken publicly about their mental health struggles. The Australian called Osaka a great champion and someone who is going to inspire millions of people in his press conference on Friday.
On Monday, it was Osaka’s turn to talk about the Australian after she beat Alison Riske in straight sets to advance to the Miami quarter-finals.
The 24-year-old said that Kyrgios reminded her of herself when she first came on to the tour and added that she feels that Kyrgios finds the pressures of being in the limelight difficult to deal with – something she can relate to very well.
“When I was coming on tour, or watching him, because he’s been on tour for a very long time — or not very long, but long enough. I kind of thought like he was my brother. Like we kind of look the same to me. I don’t know. And I always felt like his behavior was kind of like — I’m not trying to be offensive; I hope he doesn’t read this and take it this way — like someone that can’t really handle the pressure too well, so they are kind of overwhelmed.”
“For me, I relate to that feeling a lot, but I think we channel it in different ways. So, for me I feel like he also has a lot of responsibility, because even now, coming to the practice courts, he has a lot of kids watching him. I know that he loves that, but I think it’s a bit of a double-sided coin.”
Both players will be in action on Tuesday in Miami as Kyrgios squares off against Jannik Sinner in the fourth round while Osaka plays Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals, just her second quarter-final since the 2021 edition of the Miami Open.