Wimbledon 2024: What happened to Naomi Osaka?

Wimbledon 2024: What happened to Naomi Osaka?

Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is among the most successful female players in the sport’s history. She’s won four career Grand Slam singles titles (the US Open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021), and is 21st on the list of female career prize money earners, having raked in a whopping $21.7 million since turning professional in 2013.

In recent years, however, Osaka has endured some challenging mental health issues. In 2021, she told her Instagram followers that she’d been suffering from bouts of depression since her 2018 US Open victory. She sought therapy and announced she was taking an indefinite break from the sport she loved.

In March 2022, after returning to the sport, she was heckled at the Indian Wells Open (an idiot shouted, “Naomi, you suck,” during her match against Veronika Kudermetova). Osaka later told reporters at a Miami Open press conference that the incident had caused her to return to therapy.

She’s now back playing, and in a May 2022 interview with SELF, she said, “At this stage in my life, I feel very content in my mental health journey.”

One of the major singles titles that have evaded her and perhaps one she would have won had she not suffered so severely with mental health issues is Wimbledon. After missing the last three events in 2021, 2022, and 2023 (and the one that didn’t happen due to COVID-19 in 2020), she returned to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as a wildcard entry in 2024 to try and put that right. But how did that go for her?

How far did Naomi Osaka progress at Wimbledon 2024?

Image via Aaron Chown/PA

Naomi Osaka’s return to Wimbledon got off to a nervy but solid start in the first round of the 2024 tournament. She defeated France’s Diane Parry 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 on July 1 to progress to the second round, where she was drawn against American Emma Navarro.

However, the comeback abruptly ended in that second match on July 3 when Navarro soundly defeated her in straight sets, 4-6, 1-6, taking less than an hour to do so.

Osaka will understandably be disappointed at her early exit from the competition, but having endured so many struggles over the past few years — and indeed only entered the competition as a wildcard — she should be content with the baby steps she’s taking returning to tennis.

She’s an incredibly talented sportswoman, and at 26, she’s still very young. If she continues dedicating herself to rediscovering her best form, she’ll undoubtedly win tournaments again soon. We wish her all the best in her attempts to do so.

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