Naomi Osaka has sent the tennis world into a spin after throwing out the idea she wants to play mixed doubles at this year's US Open.
Earlier this week, Naomi Osaka suffered a major setback before the US Open after a day of drama at the Cincinnati Masters.
Osaka bowed out in the first round in Cincinnati going down in straight sets to Zhang Shuai in a setback to the two-time US Open champion's preparations for the up-coming grand slam.
However, in a move that has garnered attention, Osaka has claimed she wants to play mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows in under two-weeks.
Although, the four-time grand slam champ admitted hesitation.
"I kinda want to play mixed doubles in US Open cause I've never played a full match in my life but I'm also very afraid of letting my partner down," she wrote.
I kinda want to play mixed doubles in US Open cause I’ve never played a full match in my life but I’m also very afraid of letting my partner down 💀
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 19, 2022
Osaka's thoughts about playing doubles at the US Open sparked a frenzy over who would parter the four-time grand slam champ.
Tennis great Kim Clijsters weighed-in and encouraged Osaka to have a crack at the event.
There was speculation Aussie Nick Kyrgios and Osaka were going to team-up at Wimbledon, before the four-time grand slam champion withdrew.
Despite lots of speculation after Osaka's announcement, she hasn't said who she would partner in the tournament.
Go for it ! It’s so much fun!
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) August 19, 2022
Ask Andy to play. He will be happy to play mixed doubles with you 🙂
— Andy Murray Fan Club (@MagicMurrayFans) August 19, 2022
I'll be your wingman anytime.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) August 19, 2022
You should for sure play and find a doubles specialist and enjoy 😊 so much fun. It will also help your singles game. Doubles period would help get you back to the top I am just saying 😋
— Zina Garrison (@beyondthegold) August 19, 2022
While Osaka suffered a tough setback in Cincinnati, her presence during Serena Williams' first round match against Emma Raducanu caused a stir.
The four-time grand slam champion Osaka was shown high-up in the crowd cheering on Williams.
Osaka often points to Williams as her childhood tennis idol.
Naomi Osaka suffers setback at Cincinnati Masters
Osaka hasn't enjoyed the best lead-up to the US Open after suffering a first round loss at the Cincinnati Masters this week.
Japan's four-time major winner has struggled with injuries and form in 2022, and her latest setback does not bode well for her US Open hopes.
It was only Osaka's third tournament back from an Achilles injury and it has been a stuttering return to action for the two-time US Open champion.
She retired with lower back pain in the opening round in Toronto last week.
Coco Gauff allayed fears she was seriously injured after she retired injured against Marie Bouzkova.
Gauff called a trainer to check out a leg complaint in the first set.
The American bravely tried to play through the pain but lasted just one game into the second set, before being forced to retire from the match.
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