WTA Tour

Osaka opens up on Beyonce, Jay-Z motivation

2020-05-14 10:23
Naomi Osaka (PA)
Naomi Osaka (PA)

Not too long ago, Naomi Osaka struggled to string a handful of words together during an interview, but now she is able to utter “full sentences”.

Osaka first gave the world a glimpse of her shyness at the 2018 Indian Wells Masters when she started the presentation ceremony by saying “this is probably going to be the worst acceptance speech of all time”.

And a few months later after reaching the US Open final she expressed her love for Serena Williams stating in the post-match interview “I love you [Serena]. I love everybody”.

While the rest of the world has come to love and adore her dry sense of humour, Osaka admits being shy has led to many regrets.

“For me, I have a lot of regrets before I go to sleep, and most of the regret is that I don’t speak out about what I’m thinking,” she told CNN Sport.

The two-time Grand Slam winner continued: “There’s a lot of times where I see myself in situations where I could have put my input in, but instead I’ve held my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn’t really enjoy.

“I feel like if I asserted myself I would have gotten the opportunity to see what would have happened.

“I was very shy and I wouldn’t know what to do or where to put my things,” she says.

“Even right now, maybe a couple of years ago I would be very, very shy to do this interview and you would only get like two words out of me but now we’re getting full sentences!”

Former world No 1 Osaka also paid tribute to her musical idols Beyoncé and Jay-Z for helping to motivate her, but she admits that when she first met the celebrity couple in Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos in 2019, she didn’t do herself justice.

“He [Jay-Z] started talking to me, but I got really nervous and started giving one word replies so he suddenly said, ‘Are you shy?’ and I said, ‘yeah,’ and the convo came to a screeching halt.”

She continued: “I want to take the chance to tell people I appreciate them while I can.

“I would like to thank Jay-Z and Beyoncé for making music that motivates me, because there was a period in my life where I just watched Beyoncé performances to get motivated.

“Even right now I’m listening to older Jay-Z songs because I feel like they’re really chill.”

Read more on:    wta tour  |  naomi osaka  |  tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy


When all is said and done, who of the 'Big 3' in men's tennis ends their career with the most Grand Slams?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.