Is Naomi Osaka finished as a tennis player, or do you think she can get her career back on track?

Is Osaka finished as a tennis player?


  • Total voters
    129

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Since her win at the Australian Open in 2021, she's had nothing but early losses or skipping slams. Two 1st round losses, one 2nd round loss, two 3rd round losses and 2 slams skipped. She had a decent run in Miami with an easy draw, until she got destroyed by Swiatek in the final, but otherwise has done nothing. Looking at her on court, she looks disinterested and sad, like she wants to cry or just let out a load of pent up emotions.

What do you think? Is she finished or is it possible she can get her tennis career back on track?
 
She makes way more money than she deserves, I'll say that much. What she has going for her is that she's managed to win 4 majors very early on in her career, which obviously is the driving force behind her rich endorsements. Why I think she might be done is because right from her first taste of real adversity she made a habit of making excuses and endorsed victim culture. Because of this she'll never make it back to the top. There's no fight. Only fits of crying that she's so hard done by (I say this as someone who is diagnosed with some mental health conditions and from a family with a history of mental illness going back generations, just so people don't think I'm ignorant and heartless; I get it more than most).
 

BumElbow

Professional
Osaka does not seem to be much into tennis anymore. Her commitment to winning matches is not there. How disappointing.

And, it's just not Osaka. Barty retired way too young - she took the money and left.

Today, the USO was a WTA futures / seeds bloodbath with Osaka, Raducanu, Kenin, Anisimova, Ostapenko, Rybakina, Mertens and Pera all losing in the 1st round. Paula Badosa, K. Pliskova and Sloan Stevens rallied to survive. What is going on here?
 

McGradey

Hall of Fame
Seems like the tennis life has been soured for her, possibly permanently. She doesn't present as happy or comfortable on the court and is clearly carrying around some heavy emotional baggage.

I think her form could come back overnight if she was able to overcome the combination of things that are affecting her performance, so I voted no, not done. But something would have to change pretty dramatically in her head before the renaissance can happen.
 

bigbadboaz

Semi-Pro
Needs another option: Will stick around halfheartedly, win nothing, and drive us all nuts with her attitude.

Barty retired way too young - she took the money and left.

Barty doesn't deserve this comparison. Making the right choice for herself - AFTER fulfilling her potential, and showing lots of class and gratitude along the way - is a completely different thing from this halfway in/halfway out, boo-hoo it really hurts to be a 20something superstar millionaire schtick we suffer through with Osaka.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Her forehand, return of serve and movement have all regressed considerably. Also her insistence on continually serving to Collins' on-song backhand was costly. Playing a part-time schedule and hoping to get things together at the majors (the hard court majors that is, with her not showing a lot of motivation to improve on clay or grass) also stopped cutting it. Clearly given how much money she has raked in from endorsements, the motivation to enter more run of the mill WTA tournaments has further waned over time.

I was saying elsewhere that I think more and more players in the current and future generations simply won't care about achieving 'sustained success' or establishing themselves as among the greatest players of all time (not that there is such a thing as a 'GOAT' despite endless and meaningless debates about it on the internet). Winning some majors and spending some world as world no. 1, making a lot of money in the process especially from endorsements in Osaka's case, I'm sure will increasingly be seen as more than good enough, with less desire to continue to grind it out on the circuit season after season. And to be fair players like Barty or Osaka who achieve that have already had better career than more than 99% of players that try to establish pro careers, so they were already part of the elite at a relatively young age.
 
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I vote she's done.

It's obvious she doesn't really want to be playing.

She may win again. But never consistently.

To be great, you have to feel like playing tennis is what you want to do more than anything else.

If you feel like you have to do it to suppose your family but don't really want to, it'll be impossible to stay at the top for very long.
 
Barty retired way too young - she took the money and left.

Ash was never in it for the money.

Those close to her know the reasons why Ash approached her tennis (and sporting) careers the way she did.

She was always going to retire from the sport once she won a Wimbledon Singles Title. She proceeded to have one more crack at the AO because some significant people in her life convinced her to do so. That AO Singles Title she won was really bonus icing on the cake. And good on her.

Like I said, a few important reasons for why she has moved on. She had nothing more to prove.
 

BumElbow

Professional
Needs another option: Will stick around halfheartedly, win nothing, and drive us all nuts with her attitude.



Barty doesn't deserve this comparison. Making the right choice for herself - AFTER fulfilling her potential, and showing lots of class and gratitude along the way - is a completely different thing from this halfway in/halfway out, boo-hoo it really hurts to be a 20something superstar millionaire schtick we suffer through with Osaka.

I disagree. Barty did not fulfill her potential. She is a great player who was a joy to watch and it was a loss to the game that she left so prematurely.
 
I disagree. Barty did not fulfill her potential. She is a great player who was a joy to watch and it was a loss to the game that she left so prematurely.

I respect your right to disagree.

Doesn't mean that you know the whole story. Suffice to say, Ash didn't leave the sport prematurely as far as she, or her family, or her closest friends, are concerned :)

Ash certainly decided that she has fufilled her full potential in tennis. That's why she finished up when she did.

She is now moving on to fulfull her full potential in "Life". And more power to her for doing so.

(But of course, we should all be careful when discussing Ash ... "Never say "Never Again" ;) )
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
Getting to the top is one thing. Staying there is another.
You should really appreciate Serena's incredible longevity when you see just how difficult it is for the other women to stay on top once they have won slams and reached No. 1.
Since 1999, Serena has 23 slams. Then there is a long gap to Venus & Justine's 7.
Osaka has 4. That's as many as Clijsters so she has had a great career but increasingly she looks done. I doubt that Swiatek gets to 7.

No doubt, Serena is the GOAT and an absolute legend.
 
No doubt?

@:45 "...a code violation because I expressed my opinion?"
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Tennis Fan States63

Hall of Fame
I’m not sure.

i think she’s spent way too much time on non-tennis stuff.

Can’t help her confidence or mental health if she’s so tied up in other Things she can’t be ready as a player.

Tend to agree here - she needs a total mental attitude reset for championship-level tennis, commit to it, and manage her time/outside commitments. She has the time and opportunity to do it.....don't know how it will go for her. It will be a tough climb, as she's also showed her vulnerability and any edge she had over some players that previously thought they couldn't beat her has dissipated.

Whatever path she chooses, I wish her well.
 
TBH, after what she experienced with Serena at the US Open, it looked like the magic wore off. Naomi won the Title that day but I think Serena's actions broke Naomi's spirit. She has never really looked happy on the tennis court since that day.

There is an old saying ... "Never meet your idols".
 

WarrenMP

Professional
It is clear that she doesn't love tennis the way she used to. I wouldn't count her out yet. When she start playing more tournaments, Naomi will pick back up with the consistency and winning.
 

coolcamden

Hall of Fame
Needs another option: Will stick around halfheartedly, win nothing, and drive us all nuts with her attitude.



Barty doesn't deserve this comparison. Making the right choice for herself - AFTER fulfilling her potential, and showing lots of class and gratitude along the way - is a completely different thing from this halfway in/halfway out, boo-hoo it really hurts to be a 20something superstar millionaire schtick we suffer through with Osaka.
I agree whole heartedly. NO goes on the do Netflix, attend Gala’s, and whine, and whines…. Barty is writing children’s books for Christ sake. She optimize Grace and selflessness.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
I agree whole heartedly. NO goes on the do Netflix, attend Gala’s, and whine, and whines…. Barty is writing children’s books for Christ sake. She optimize Grace and selflessness.
Barty retired from tennis to write books for toddlers, wtf??o_O:-D Seems like no one actually wants to play tennis, they use it as a springboard to social media fame or release some BS podcast or something.
 

Wander

Hall of Fame
Osaka is not finished as a tennis player, but in my opinion she should play more tournaments. I don't know if she will, but it would help get her "back on track".
 

LunarLob

New User
I wouldn't say she is mentally weak. I believe most players are pushing hard to get to the top when they start. Those with the potential eventually get there and reap the benefits. For some that desire to be at the top is never ending ( there are greats in all sports that you could use to fill in this blank) For others that fire dwindles as the bank accounts fill, the responsibilities that come with the endorsements increase, the family and sponsers become harder to please, etc, etc... That is why looking back at sports history there are relatively few dominant athletes that stay at that level for years. She is one the richest women's player of all time. She makes more from endorsements than playing tennis. Those endorsements force her to play some tourneys every now and then. She seems to be mailing it in but the way things are setup for her it probably doesn't change her paycheck one way or the other.
 
TBH, after what she experienced with Serena at the US Open, it looked like the magic wore off. Naomi won the Title that day but I think Serena's actions broke Naomi's spirit. She has never really looked happy on the tennis court since that day.

There is an old saying ... "Never meet your idols".
I'm not sure if it was because of what happened on court with Serena or all the attention Naomi received afterwards, but the US Open definitely seems like the turning point.
 

big ted

Legend
i think she doesnt want to handle the pressure of what it takes to be a top player anymore...
whether that changes or not, up to her... she could def come back if she really wanted to tho..
it looked to me collins wanted it more than she did

and plus she didnt even care about playing wimbledon for the prestige of it
 
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Hoi Polloi

Professional
Since her win at the Australian Open in 2021, she's had nothing but early losses or skipping slams. Two 1st round losses, one 2nd round loss, two 3rd round losses and 2 slams skipped. She had a decent run in Miami with an easy draw, until she got destroyed by Swiatek in the final, but otherwise has done nothing. Looking at her on court, she looks disinterested and sad, like she wants to cry or just let out a load of pent up emotions.

What do you think? Is she finished or is it possible she can get her tennis career back on track?

Get woke, get broke.:)
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
I fear that Osaka has fallen into the trap that others on the WTA have fallen into once they win a Slam; being a celebrity over being a tennis player. WTA Slam winners are the favor of the month; while the men are required to back up results. First time male Slam winners are not walking the Red Carpet or splashed on Fashion Magazines. That's because these women are required to the face of the Tennis in order to sale tennis to their sponsors. On the men's side, players are not bigger than game (Sorry Federer, Nadal and Djokovic fanboys); tennis is the draw, not a particular player for the most part despite what you read here.
 

NonP

Legend
U jokers saw the same match I saw? She actually played pretty damn well last nite and was dominating Collins early on. Very unlucky to run into such a tough opponent in 1R, which of course is why she should play more events and move up the rankings. Even a 32nd seeding can make a big difference at this level.

Whether she's willing to do that is the big Q. Anyhoo she seems to be regaining her form, which is good to see.

One more thing:

Her forehand, return of serve and movement have all regressed considerably. Also her insistence on continually serving to Collins' on-song backhand was costly. Playing a part-time schedule and hoping to get things together at the majors (the hard court majors that is, with her not showing a lot of motivation to improve on clay or grass) also stopped cutting it. Clearly given how much money she has raked in from endorsements, the motivation to enter more run of the mill WTA tournaments has further waned over time.

I was saying elsewhere that I think more and more players in the current and future generations simply won't care about achieving 'sustained success' or establishing themselves as among the greatest players of all time (not that there is such a thing as a 'GOAT' despite endless and meaningless debates about it on the internet). Winning some majors and spending some world as world no. 1, making a lot of money in the process especially from endorsements in Osaka's case, I'm sure will increasingly be seen as more than good enough, with less desire to continue to grind it out on the circuit season after season. And to be fair players like Barty or Osaka who achieve that have already had better career than more than 99% of players that try to establish pro careers, so they were already part of the elite at a relatively young age.

Color me skeptical on the latter point. Just as money stops being a factor in one's happiness after a certain point I suspect the same vs. an athlete's motivation. Just don't see much of a difference between, say, Borg's $3.6M + endorsements and Djokovic's
$159M + who knows how much more, provided that he/she has the will to continue. Borg didn't (with a full schedule), hence his premature retirement.

I'm guessing you remember all the chatter about how Naomi had made all of 3 finals but only at the biggies when she won her 1st USO. And to date she's made just 11 Fs, again all at the Premier level or higher. She was never a paragon of day-to-day consistency, and while I agree she's been slacking off too much she didn't have much "motivation" even before she became a household name. As long as she puts in a little more extra work and remains seeded she should be a legit contender for a few more seasons.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Since her win at the Australian Open in 2021, she's had nothing but early losses or skipping slams. Two 1st round losses, one 2nd round loss, two 3rd round losses and 2 slams skipped. She had a decent run in Miami with an easy draw, until she got destroyed by Swiatek in the final, but otherwise has done nothing. Looking at her on court, she looks disinterested and sad, like she wants to cry or just let out a load of pent up emotions.

What do you think? Is she finished or is it possible she can get her tennis career back on track?

Finished
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
The need for virtue signaling by insecure persons?
If you can‘t be a victim then you have at least to show that you care for them.
It seems to be a big thing among the privileged elite classes, to be "woke". I never see poor people who are woke, it's only these upper class people who are already wealthy and live fantastic lives who are woke. Not sure if you notice that as well.
 

big ted

Legend
It seems to be a big thing among the privileged elite classes, to be "woke". I never see poor people who are woke, it's only these upper class people who are already wealthy and live fantastic lives who are woke. Not sure if you notice that as well.

and having social media is a prerequisite to being woke lol
 
She needs to get to the net at least for some easy put aways. There's going to be the occasional lucky or spectacular passing shot, but it could have potentially won her the first set against Collins.
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
Not sure. Osaka has always looked as if she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Even more so now. With the proper medication and therapy, I think I could get her back to the top.
 
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