Naomi Osaka Vows to End Self-Deprecating Mindset, Celebrate Herself

  • Naomi Osaka says she wants to focus on celebrating herself and her accomplishments going forward.
  • The four-time Grand Slam champ opened up on Twitter about feeling like she’s “never good enough.” 
  • “I give my heart to everything I can, and if that’s not good enough for some then my apologies,” she wrote.

Naomi Osaka says she’s done putting herself down.

The 23-year-old tennis superstar has won four Grand Slam championships, ignited the Olympic cauldron while representing Japan in the Tokyo Games, and earned more money in a single year than any woman in sports history — in 2020 and 2021. Yet according to a heartfelt note Osaka shared on Twitter Sunday afternoon, she still finds plenty of room to criticize herself.

In the note, however, Osaka said she’s ready to leave her “extremely self deprecating” ways behind.

naomi osaka

Osaka.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky


“Recently I’ve been asking myself why do I feel the way I do and I realize one of the reasons is because internally I think I’m never good enough,” Osaka wrote. “I’ve never told myself that I’ve done a good job but I do know I constantly tell myself that I suck or I could do better.”

“I know in the past some people have called me humble but if I really consider it I think I’m extremely self deprecating,” she added.

naomi osaka.JPG

Osaka at the 2019 US Open.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


So Osaka vowed to stop asking “‘Wow, why me?'” when an opportunity comes her way. No more berating herself when she doesn’t meet or exceed expectations, either. 

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m gonna try to celebrate myself and my accomplishments more,” she wrote. “I think we all should.”

The message comes on the heels of a tumultuous time for Osaka, personally and professionally. After kicking off 2021 with her second Australian Open title, the WTA’s third-ranked player fell short at the Miami Open and began a disappointing stretch on the court. Osaka later revealed that she had been struggling with her mental health. 

Naomi Osaka Nike

Osaka at the 2021 French Open.

Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua via Getty Images


Then prior to the French Open, she announced that she would not speak to the press at Roland Garros in an attempt to protect herself and maintain a positive headspace. She faced considerable criticism and eventually withdrew from the tournament after being fined for refusing to attend a press conference. She subsequently opted out of the Berlin WTA 500, and then Wimbledon.

“Your life is your own and you shouldn’t value yourself on other people’s standards,” Osaka wrote in Sunday’s note. 

Osaka competed for the first time in months at the Tokyo Olympics but bowed out in a premature exit after a shocking straight-set upset to Marketa Vondrousova (who was ranked 42 at the time) in the third round.

Naomi Osaka.

Osaka at the Tokyo Olympics.

Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports


At the Western & Southern Open — the next tournament after the Olympics, and one that’s widely considered a tune-up for the US Open — Osaka once again lost in the third round.

Perhaps this new mindset shift will help her right the ship on the court. 

“I know I give my heart to everything I can and if that’s not good enough for some then my apologies,” Osaka wrote. “But I can’t burden myself with those expectations anymore. Seeing everything that’s going on in the world I feel like if I wake up in the morning that’s a win.”

naomi osaka

Osaka smiles.

AP Photo/Hamish Blair


Osaka plays her first match of the 2021 US Open Monday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. She won the Grand Slam in both 2018 and 2020.

Read her full Twitter note below:

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here