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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Naomi Osaka Feels 'More Comfortable In Her Skin' After Taking Time Away From Tennis to Prioritize Her Mental Health

The four-time Grand Slam champ made light work of Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the opening round of the Australian Open.

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Image for article titled Naomi Osaka Feels 'More Comfortable In Her Skin' After Taking Time Away From Tennis to Prioritize Her Mental Health
Photo: Clive Brunskill (Getty Images)

For those of us who could give less than a shit about Novak Djokovic’s refusal to get vaccinated, and subsequent expulsion from the land of koalas and kangaroos, there are far more important things to discuss—like Naomi Osaka kicking ass and taking names at the Australian Open on Monday.

The reigning Australian Open champion—who had a bit of a rough 2021 to put it lightly, all while still casually reeling in more money than just about everybody not named Jay Connor—made short work of Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the opening round of the tournament.

From ESPN:

Defending champion Naomi Osaka posted a relatively trouble-free 6-3, 6-3 victory on Monday over Camila Osorio in the first round of the Australian Open.

Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion, won at Rod Laver Arena and did so by taking the first five games of the match, before Osorio finally scratched one out herself.

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After giving the No. 50 ranked tennis player in the world the business, Osaka disclosed that taking time away from the game she loves in order to prioritize her mental health was one of the best things she could’ve done.

“I would say I feel more comfortable in my skin, if that makes sense,” she said after he win. Like there’s always the human nature to feel uneasy, to want to please everyone and stuff like that,” Osaka said. “I feel like there was a time after the French Open where I felt like everyone was judging me. […] It feels a bit weird when you go into a stadium to play and you’re kind of concerned what everyone’s gaze means.”

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Thankfully, that uneasiness is a thing of the past—which is something the four-time Grand Slam champ reiterated on social media prior to taking the court on Monday.

“Respectfully, I don’t have anything to prove,” she wrote in response to the suggestion that she somehow did. “Before my first Slam, I was told I had potential, but probably not going to capitalize on it. After my first Slam, I was told I got lucky, and I was a one-hit-wonder. After my second Slam, I was told that I could be great but I was unsure. After my third and fourth Slams, I was told I will only be good on hard courts.

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“Moral of the story–people are always going to have something to say and IDGAF [I don’t give a fuck] anymore.”

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Tell the truth to shame the Devil.

And for her next trick, the 24-year-old will take on American Madison Brengle—we hate it had to be you—as Osaka looks to continue her reign of terror in the second round of the Australian Open.