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'For sure, I love the sport' - Naomi Osaka confirms she is close to playing again

Naomi Osaka smiling at US Open

Naomi Osaka has assured fans she still loves tennis and she 'has the itch to play again' following her recent troubles.

Osaka has suffered from mental health issues surrounding anxiety this year.

They saw her withdraw from the French Open and Wimbledon, and after losing at the US Open she vowed to take a break.

That break seems to have done her good, and she is eyeing a return to tennis soon.

“You know, I’ve been playing tennis since I was three years old,” Osaka said in an interview with HBO.

“For sure I love the sport. I know I’m gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again.

“But it wouldn’t really matter to me if I won or lost. I’d just have the joy of being back on the court. Just to, like, you know, that I’m doing it for myself.”

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Osaka was reduced to tears by her US Open exit to eventual finalist Laylah Fernandez, and she admits she was starting to fear she was losing her love of tennis.

“I started to feel like that power was being taken away from me," she said.

“I wasn’t playing to make myself happy and I was more concerned about what would people say about me.

“I used to love the competition and just being competitive. Like if I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me.

“And then I just started to feel – recently – the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself.”

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