Naomi Osaka still perfectly remembers what was crossing her mind when she met Serena Williams for the first time. In 2014, a 16-year-old Osaka made her WTA debut at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. Eight years have passed since Osaka’s San Jose debut and the Japanese is set to return to the tournament for her fourth main draw appearance.
Ahead of Osaka’s return, the tournament posted a video from 2014, when Osaka met Williams for the first time. “Hahah I remember thinking that was the best day of my life,” Osaka wrote on Twitter.
Osaka has recovered from an Achilles injury
After losing to Amanda Anisimova in the French Open first round, Osaka decided to skip the entire grass season and focus on recovering from an Achilles injury.
Osaka was far from her best at the French Open as she took a painkiller before the match. “I tried really hard, and I just feel like it was a bit unfortunate because I wasn’t able to play as many matches leading into this tournament,” Osaka said after the loss.
“So there were probably some really bad decisions that I made on certain points, but I think overall I wasn’t too bad.” Now, Osaka is ready to return to action, but something has changed since her last tournament.
A couple of days ago, coach Wim Fissette announced he and Osaka agreed to end their partnership. “It has been a privilege to coach Naomi since 2019 and see her grow into the Champion she has become. She has inspired a whole new generation to fall in love with the game & to speak up for what they believe in and it’s been incredible to play a part in that journey.
Thank you, Naomi Osaka. I wish you all the best and looking forward to my next chapter,” Fissette wrote on Instagram. The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic kicks off on August 1 and it remains to be seen how will Osaka do in her comeback tournament.