World No.10 Naomi Osaka has opened up about the crippling shyness she struggles with and how she is planning on changing her mentality going forward.
Osaka may have not enjoyed the best start to the 2020 WTA season before it came to a grinding halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Defending her Australian Open title, she lost in the third round to teenage sensation Cori Gauff.
She then suffered a meltdown at the Fed Cup in February as she racked up 50 unforced errors in a torrid display against the world No.78, who claimed only a second Fed Cup singles win.
But it appears the break has reinvigorated Osaka and she is looking forward to being the best person she can after surprising tennis fans with a number of uncharacteristic tweets.
I’m done being shy. It’s really a waste of my time. I could’ve shared so many ideas by now, I could’ve had convos with so many different people. All the things I could’ve learned 🤦🏽♀️ but no I’m over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 5, 2020
“I'm done being shy. It's really a waste of my time,” she wrote.
“I could've shared so many ideas by now, I could've had convos with so many different people.
“All the things I could've learned but no I'm over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.”
She also reiterated her thoughts in an interview and how the break from tennis during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the constant media scrutiny, has helped her reflect.
“For me, I have a lot of regrets before I go to sleep, and most of the regret is that I don't speak out about what I'm thinking,” she said in an interview with CNN Sport.
Osaka claimed she wished she had spoken up in the past, which has cost her.
“There's a lot of times where I see myself in situations where I could have put my input in, but instead I've held my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn't really enjoy,” she added.
Osaka’s life-changing meeting with Jay-Z and Beyonce
Osaka also wanted to thank Jay-Z and Beyonce after revealing how their influence helped her cope with her everyday struggles.
The World No.10 said after meeting the rapper on holiday in 2019, she felt her shyness get in the way of a conversation because she could only utter one-word responses.
“He started talking to me, but I got really nervous and started giving one word replies so he suddenly said, 'Are you shy?' and I said, 'yeah,' and the convo came to a screeching halt,” she said.
But on reflection, Osaka said she wanted to thank the pair for making music that helps her deal with everyday struggles.
This included watching Beyonce performances to help her get motivated.