Naomi Osaka brushes off injury, reveals surprising plan for Wimbledon


Former World No.1 Naomi Osaka brushed off any long-term injury concerns after her 6-3, 6-1 loss to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round of the Madrid Open here.

The 24-year-old Japanese said on Sunday that she has been trying to focus on her net game as the four-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to play in the mixed doubles in Wimbledon.

“So I have been really trying to focus on my net game because I’m going to play mixed doubles in Wimbledon. I know, shocking, right? I’m shocked too,” Osaka revealed.

After a strong opening performance to defeat Anastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-1 in the first round, Osaka sported a heavily taped lower leg as she took the court against Spanish Sorribes Tormo. However, she said it will be fine.

“I felt something in my Achilles after my last match, and I wasn’t really able to hit yesterday because I wanted it to go away,” Osaka told reporters after the match.

“I felt it again today and I tried to take an ibuprofen (a pain killer) during the match but I probably should have taken it way sooner than I did. But, yeah, I’m sure it will be fine,” she said.

Osaka said she experienced similar pain in her Achilles after the Miami Open a few years ago and will get an ultrasound to better understand the issue.

“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.”

Having seen Osaka struggle with her movement, Sorribes Tormo smartly made the match as physical as possible. But Osaka vowed to use the match as a learning experience.

“I don’t want to retire because of injury again in my career,” Osaka said.

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