Naomi Osaka admitted to having “nervous energy,” but had a “mindset change” leading to her first US Open victory on Monday.
At Flushing Meadows, the 23-year-old tennis star, who represents Japan, had a rough start to her match against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic due to “nerves,” she told reporters after the match.
Ultimately, she won in straight sets.
“I’m always the type that gets nervous, especially in Slams, especially in first rounds,” Osaka said. “The nervous energy was contradicting with the excitement that I had from being able to see a crowd in such a long time. It was definitely a weird feeling. But I was more excited than nervous in the end.”
“It may have to do with my mindset change [but] I didn’t feel pressure,” she continued. “I felt nerves because I wanted to perform well. In my mind, I told myself that if I performed well, then the outcome — even if I win or lose — should be okay.”
The No. 3 seed, who is hoping to win her fifth Grand Slam title overall, won last year’s US Open as well as the 2018 New York tournament.
Going into this year’s tournament, Osaka said she’s trying to value her performance over winning.
“I do know that I tell people that I’m a perfectionist. I think for me something that’s less than perfection, even though it might be something great, is a disappointment,” she told reporters. “I don’t really think that’s a healthy way of thinking… something that I really wanted to change.”
Osaka continued, “In this tournament, I just want to be happy with knowing that I did my best and knowing that even though I didn’t play perfect I was able to win a match in two sets. Or if I have to battle, play a match in three sets, know that I made a couple of mistakes, but it’s okay at the end of the day because I’ll learn from the matches that I’ll keep playing.”
About her mindset, Osaka added, “It’s not really a tournament thing, it’s more like a life thing. I hope I can keep this mindset throughout my life going forward.”
Naomi Osaka and Marie Bouzkova
The four-time Grand Slam title holder made similar sentiments in a candid post ahead of the start of the US Open.
Posting a carousel of photos and videos of “some tennis memories over the past year that mean a lot to me,” Osaka began her Instagram caption by stating that she’s been doing a lot of “reflecting.”
“So grateful for the people around me because the support I feel is completely unparalleled,” Osaka shared. Recently she said she’s been asking herself, “Why do I feel the way I do,” adding that she realizes “one of the reasons is because internally I think I’m never good enough.”
She revealed that despite her many accomplishments, she’s “never” told herself “good job.” Instead, “I do know I constantly tell myself that I suck or I could do better,” she added. “I know in the past some people have called me humble but if I really consider it I think I’m extremely self-deprecating. Every time a new opportunity arises my first thought is, ‘wow, why me?’ ”
But recently, Osaka had a change of perception.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m gonna try to celebrate myself and my accomplishments more, I think we all should,” she wrote, encouraging her fans to also cherish the smallest of wins.
“You got up in the morning and didn’t procrastinate on something? Champion. Figured something out at work that’s been bugging you for a while? Absolute legend,” she continued. “Your life is your own and you shouldn’t value yourself on other people’s standards.”
Osaka, who has also been outspoken about her anxiety during post-match interviews, addressed criticism regarding her covers in magazines.
“I really like to see fashion magazines,” she told reporters on Monday. “As a tennis player, you don’t really get the chance to dress up and go on shoots like that.”
Osaka explained, “For me, I love learning from those experiences because usually when you do Vogue or something, you can meet the designer or meet the head of the house. That’s like a cool experience for me.”
“I think press conferences like these, I’ve become really desensitized to it because I’ve been doing them since I was really young,” she continued.
“I feel like there are moments, especially during the Zoom calls, where I just feel like I’m sitting in front of a screen taking questions. It’s really hard for me because I like to see people’s expressions and stuff, especially when someone joins a Zoom that I don’t know and I feel like they’re giving me really bad energy. I feel like I have to put multiple guards up.”
Osaka also shared, “Doing the magazine stuff and then doing press conferences are two completely different things. That’s how I feel.”
KATE, Duchess of Cambridge makes jaws drop after sharing a breathtaking picture from the Lake District
The Duchess of Cambridge spent an active day on land and water in the Lake District in the rugged northwest of England.
As part of her ongoing campaign to showcase the benefits of spending time in nature, Kate kicked off the day by going mountain biking with some air cadets.
The mother of three, 39, “passionately believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children and young people’s future health and happiness, building foundations that last over a lifetime by encouraging active exploration and the opportunity to form and strengthen positive relationships,” according to the palace.
When she visited the area in June 2019 with Prince William, Kate told locals that her children love the area and walking in the fells. She also recalled how, when she was growing up, she loved to go boulder hopping in the countless streams that criss-cross the mountainsides.
Tuesday’s visit came as the RAF Air Cadets Windermere Adventure Training Centre was opened following a refit costing around $3 million (£2 million). Kate is the Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Air Force Cadets. Hundreds of cadets from around the U.K. will use the center during their visits to the spectacular Lake District “to build their confidence and leadership skills” as they work toward achieving their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Kate’s office at Kensington Palace said.
After her morning with the air cadets, Kate was set to hear more about how the stunning lakeland area also provided healing from one of Europe’s darkest chapters: the aftermath of the Holocaust.
She joined a boat trip with two of the Windermere Children, a group of 300 Holocaust survivors who were brought to stay in the Lake District in 1945 to help them recuperate following the atrocities they experienced in concentration camps and the ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe.
“She was absolutely delightful,” Ike Alterman, a 93-year-old survivor from Poland who was a prisoner at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt, told PEOPLE. “We laughed, she asked questions and she wanted to know the answers. We talked about her kids and my kids, and how we love the lakes. I have two girls and two grandchildren. I told her what happened to me during the war and when I arrived and how I progressed in business later.”
He added, “I didn’t know what to expect, but we spoke like a couple of friends. She was so down-to-Earth.”
Arek Hersh, 92, was also joined by the Duchess on the boat. A survivor of Auschwitz, he lost his parents and his brothers and sisters — in total 81 members of his family perished. He settled in Leeds, Yorkshire, and worked as a mechanic and, in later years, as a landlord for students in the city. He is featured in the 2020 film The Windermere Children and the documentary The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.
“It was very nice. She was very interested,” he told PEOPLE. “It brought back happy memories of being on the lake.”
This group of children were called the ‘Windermere Children’. I wanted to be able to meet some of the survivors Ike & Arek in person to hear their stories; about how they went on to create their own companies, write a book & to this day, still sneak in the odd round of golf.(2/3) pic.twitter.com/XNTimAxZ8K
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 21, 2021
The Duchess’s office explained she wanted to meet some of those who came to the area at the time and hear how they had been helped to heal from their traumatic experiences by undertaking outdoor recreation, sport and art therapy at the Calgarth Estate nearby.
That poignant part of Kate’s visit to the Lake District very much fit in with both her and the other royals’ desire to engender religious tolerance and understanding, as well as to find imaginative ways to educate about past atrocities.
Last year, Kate highlighted some of the incredible stories of survival amid the Nazi occupation of much of Europe when she photographed Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren.
Tiger Woods Joins Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Others in NFT Craze: Partners With Tom Brady’s New Company
Over the last few months, we’ve all seen athletes release NFTs (nonfungible tokens) of their own. The buzz around those has increased with time, players as well as fans including in this digital collecting. This time, golf icon Tiger Woods is the latest addition to a list of celebrities to release a line of NFTs online.
According to recent reports, Woods taking part in this recent craze is via a company linked to NFL star Tom Brady. Let’s take a look at what exactly Woods has invested in.
THROWBACK : WATCH When Serena Williams Called Maria Sharapova B*TCH
Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova is one of the most heated rivalries in the women’s game. Their match-ups have always been the most compelling ones. The viewership of their battles has been sky-rocketing compared to other rivalries on the WTA Tour.
There is some kind of friction existing between the two of them and the Grand Slam champions have never really got along with each other. In Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable its mentioned their relationship has some kind of ‘intense antagonism.’
Post her two consecutive defeats, Williams has been ruthless against Sharapova on all the surfaces. Sharapova must have stunned the world by defeating Williams at Wimbledon 2004 finals and WTA Championships, but she lost 20 consecutive matches against the American veteran tennis player.
The heated-rivalry of women’s track has witnessed some bitter moments. One of them took place on Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open 2007 finals. Serena was steamrolling over Maria in the first set with a 5-0 lead. Sharapova released her serve and later Williams charged onto the net.
The Russian wasn’t holding back, even she sprinted to the net, and in a blink of an eye, she smashed the ball on Serena Williams. A frustrated Serena moved back to the baseline for the next reception and simultaneously uttered the ‘B’ word.
Later, Williams thrashed the Russian ace 6-1, 6-2 and clinched her third Australian Open title.
“I will never lose to that little bitch again” – Serena Williams
According to Maria Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable, Serena was super-annoyed after losing to the lanky Russian at Wimbledon 2004. The battle could be termed as Williams, the physical Goliath vs Sharapova, like David.
The American just couldn’t accept her Wimbledon final defeat to a 17-year-old skinny girl. Out of disappointment, Serena once used the ‘B’ word for Maria.
“Not long after the tournament, I heard that Serena told a friend — who then told me — ‘I will never lose to that little bitch again,’” Sharapova depicted in her book.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova (Picture Courtesy: USTA)
The salty rivalry of the women’s game concluded at Flushing Meadows during US Open 2019. In their very-first round-one WTA match-up Serena Williams took 59 minutes to crush Sharapova 6-1, 6-1.