Naomi Osaka, WTA Tour, Maternity, tennis

Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Seeks To Reclaim Top Rank In Miami Open

Naomi Osaka advances to the third round of the Miami Open after defeating Elina Svitolina.

Naomi Osaka is on a mission to be the No. 1 tennis player in the world—again. The new mother has advanced to the third round of the Miami Open after defeating Elina Svitolina on March 23.

Osaka’s play has been considered her “best tennis of the year,” as reported by Osaka entered the tournament as a wild card, although she was a finalist in 2022. The 26-year-old is ready to get back to her place as one of the best in the sport.

“I definitely do think it was one of my best matches, if not the best match (of the year),” Osaka said in her post-match press conference. “But I also want myself to play better and better every match…For me going into the match, I knew that she’s a great player, and I had no choice but to play really well if I wanted a chance to win.”

The match was delayed a day due to inclement weather, but the interruption and the move to a smaller court did not disrupt Osaka’s flow.

“I honestly think the court was really cool, just like having everyone surrounding and everyone was so loud and vocal,” she said. “It just felt like Miami. It was really cool to play on that court.”

Osaka bested the Ukrainian player in two match points for a tiebreak. She now faces Caroline Garcia on March 24, who she has met three times and beaten twice.

“She’s an amazing player. I know this. Every match we play is really difficult,” Osaka said. “It’s just going to be interesting playing on these courts because I really like these hard courts.”

In her return to the courts, Osaka has also advocated for the Women’s Tennis Association to introduce maternity leave.

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