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Naomi Osaka remaining upbeat after third straight loss

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DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 12: Naomi Osaka of Japan prior playing against Caroline Garcia of France in the first round on Day 2 of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on February 12, 2024 in Doha, Qatar (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

A string of losses isn’t getting Naomi Osaka down.

Despite losing three-straight matches, the former world No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam champion is remaining upbeat.

“It definitely is hard for me to not be tough on myself, but after Abu Dhabi I actually have more confidence in myself, which is a little strange,” Osaka told reporters. “I feel like since I have seen the worst that can happen, everything else is a plus. In Australia I knew that I said I was only going to play in Dubai, so I feel like I have to take these tournaments as extra credit.

“Someone said to me it’s like a very expensive practice, so I don’t know, after they said that I felt pretty optimistic.”

Osaka will play in Doha next, playing 15th seed Caroline Garcia on Monday. She previously lost to Garcia in the opening round of the Australian Open, before losing in the Abu Dhabi opener to Danielle Collins.

But Osaka said that she prefers to face tougher opponents like Garcia.

“I learn more from the matches. So of course it’s funny to hear I’m playing her again but I’m a little happy,” Osaka said. “She’s always been a really nice person and I know I’m not supposed to think that about my opponent, but I know we also share the same birthday. At the end of the day, a Libra is going to win.”