Tennis

Last few months the worst of my life, says Naomi Osaka

World No. 2 messages her fans, saying she hadn't had fun since Aussie Open

World No. 2 Naomi Osaka admitted yesterday that the last few months have been "the worst of my life" and that she hasn't had fun on the tennis court since winning the Australian Open in January.

Osaka's triumph in Melbourne was her second successive Grand Slam, following her victory at last year's US Open, and propelled the 21-year-old to the world No. 1 ranking.

Since then, the Japanese has failed to win a tournament, lost her No. 1 ranking and crashed out at Wimbledon in the first round to Yulia Putintseva.

Yesterday, Osaka posted a message to her fans on social media explaining her recent dip in form.

"Whenever things go wrong, I blame myself 100 per cent. I have a tendency to shut down because I don't want to burden anyone with my thoughts or problems," Osaka wrote.

"Unexpectedly, (through) the worst months of my life have also had some of the best moments cause I've met new people."

"That being said, I can honestly reflect and say I probably haven't had fun playing tennis since Australia and I'm finally coming to terms with that while relearning that fun feeling," she added.

"I've learnt a lot about myself and I feel like I grew so much as a person this past year(s), so I'm really excited what the future looks like on and off the court.

"See you in the US swing."

Osaka will be looking to regain her form ahead of the US Open later this month, starting with competing at the Rogers Cup in Toronto next week.

Meanwhile, a feisty Nick Kyrgios hammered 24 aces in a dominating service display to defeat Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in the second round of the Citi Open in Washington yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The 24-year-old Australian offered his critique of the chair umpire's performance before match-point and continued to provide his thoughts following the conclusion of the match on a hot and humid night.

Kyrgios will next face Yoshihito Nishioka, a 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) winner over David Goffin. - REUTERS

Tennis