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Naomi Osaka still ‘enjoying’ tennis more despite loss

TOPSHOT - Naomi Osaka of Japan waves as she leaves after losing her women's singles match against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on January 3, 2024. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP) / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka is remaining positive despite losing in her second game back at the Brisbane International. The four-time Grand Slam champion fell to Karolina Pliskova in three sets.

“The week is definitely shorter than I wanted it to be,” Osaka said.”I feel like I’m pretty good where I am right now. Even the last time I played her, I think I played better today.”

Osaka fired 14 aces and just two double faults. She won 83 percent of points when getting her first serve into play.

Pliskova also won her last match with Osaka.

“I think I’m enjoying myself a lot more, and I also realize there’s a lot of things that aren’t in my control. I feel more aware that I’m playing the best players in the world. Both of us have an opportunity to win,” Osaka said, noting how her approach to winning and losing has changed.

“I’ve trained so hard since giving birth, I need to enjoy these moments … I do feel different. I mean, of course I feel sad, but the sadness is me being like, ‘Aww, I wish I could have done better, because I know I’m spending so much time away from [Shai], so I want it to be worth it somehow.

“For me even stepping on the court is a personal win because a couple of weeks ago I was even doubting if I could play with everyone. So I guess these two matches that I’ve had kind of prove to me that I am doing OK, and the year is just going to get better for me.”