'Shocked': Tennis fans in frenzy over Naomi Osaka announcement

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·Sports Editor
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Naomi Osaka speaks to the media after losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
Naomi Osaka speaks to the media after losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has stunned tennis fans after announcing she plans to play doubles at Wimbledon this year.

Speaking after a shock second-round loss to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open on Sunday, Osaka revealed she's been working on her net game with an eye towards playing doubles at the grass-court major in June.

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Osaka went down 6-3 6-1 to her Spanish opponent, however the former World No.1 was hampered by an achilles injury she suffered in the opening round.

In her post-match press conference she explained the injury, as well as dropping somewhat of a bombshell about her Wimbledon plans.

“I have been like really trying to focus on my net game, because I'm going to play mixed doubles in Wimbledon," Osaka told reporters.

"I know, shocking, right? I'm shocked too. Your eyes got super big.

“I really don't want to disappoint the person I'm playing with, because whenever I play doubles I always say, ‘Sorry’.

"I'm going to try not to be a liability.”

Osaka didn't reveal who her doubles partner would be, however there is speculation she could team up with Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here at an NBA game.
Tennis fans think Naomi Osaka will team up with Nick Kyrgios. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Japanese star was spotted watching Kyrgios train in March ahead of Indian Wells.

She then opened up about the possibility of playing doubles with the Aussie star.

“If he wants to attempt to carry us, I’ll consider it,” Osaka said.

"But I haven’t played doubles in years and I’m not quite great at it.

“I know he just won the Australian Open doubles title. Yeah, if he wants to do everything…”

Naomi Osaka lifts the lid on achilles injury

Osaka struggled for rhythm and was dominated by Sorribes Tormo, who mixed her game up to devastating effect.

In her first tournament on clay since the 2021 French Open, Osaka looked uncomfortable throughout and appeared to struggle with a leg injury during a disappointing second set display.

“Honestly, I have had it before, like maybe two years ago I think after Miami or something," she said of the pain in her achilles.

"But I can't imagine that it will be a huge problem unless something significant happens, but I think for right now, just learning how to move forward with everything.”

Naomi Osaka, pictured here after losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open.
Naomi Osaka leaves the court after losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old said she wanted to push through the pain and took inspiration from Michael Jordan.

“For me, honestly, I don't want to retire because of injury again in my career,” she explained.

“Because you know, like sometimes I think about the Michael Jordan ‘Flu Game’. I'm like, ‘I should be like that too’.

“There is always caution in your mind, but for me, I want to see what happens if I push through it.

"I want to know the type of – it's not relief - but like the feeling that I would have if I were to ever be injured quite badly and still be able to push through the match.”

with agencies

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