Naomi Osaka Praises Fighting Spirit Despite Indian Wells Loss

Naomi Osaka Praises Fighting Spirit Despite Indian Wells Loss

Naomi Osaka's return to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden after giving birth to her daughter Shai was marked by a fighting spirit, despite a disappointing loss to Elise Mertens in the second round. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, praised her own effort and determination, even though she fell short of victory.

"I wanted to win more slams. That's why I came back," Osaka said in her post-match press conference. "But I think I determine success right now just by the effort that I put in, and I feel like today I don't think I played well at all, but I tried every point."

Osaka's slow start against Mertens, a former Australian Open semifinalist, put her on the back foot early on. However, she showed resilience by fighting back and winning four consecutive games. Mertens, known for her consistent play, kept Osaka off-balance throughout the match, ending up with 25 unforced errors to 20 winners.

Despite the loss, Osaka remained positive, noting her improvement since her previous tournament appearance in Doha. "I think I fought a lot harder, or I tried to fight a lot harder and find solutions to problems that were in front of me," she said.

Osaka's experience as a former world No. 1 is helping her in her return from maternity leave. "I feel like I should be able to get to that level. Obviously—well, not obviously, but I feel like I've done it once before, so I should be able to do it again," she said.

Looking ahead, Osaka is eager to return to the Miami Open, where she finished runner-up in 2022. "I haven't eaten Haitian food in, like, three years, so I'm very excited to go back to Miami," she said.

Tags: #NaomiOsaka, #IndianWells, #Tennis, #MaternityLeave, #FightingSpirit

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