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Naomi Osaka 'shocked' by her Wimbledon plans as she focuses on net game

Naomi Osaka press conference

Former world number one Naomi Osaka has revealed she plans to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon for the first time and admits she's trying to improve her net game so that she isn't a 'liability'.

Osaka hasn't played at Wimbledon since 2019, the event was cancelled in 2020 and she withdrew for personal reasons in 2021 after walking out of Roland Garros a month earlier due to the pressure of press obligations.

The Japanese star hasn't been on best form in her previous showings at the All England Club, only going as far as the third round in the singles competition and the first round in the doubles.

However, the four-time Grand Slam Champion has decided to pair up with a yet-to-be-named male partner for this year's Championship and says she's been trying to adapt her game.

"So I have been really trying to focus on my net game because I'm going to play mixed doubles in Wimbledon," Osaka revealed in her post-match press conference after bowing out at the Madrid Open.

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"I know, shocking, right? I'm shocked too!," she continued.

"I really don't want to disappoint the person I'm playing with, because whenever I play doubles I always say, 'Sorry.' I'm going to try not to be a liability."

When asked who her partner would be, Osaka said she would leave it up to them to reveal the news, or better still, leave it as a surprise.

"If this person sees it and they want to like respond, they can do that, but I don't know, isn't it more fun to kind of see it when it's around the time? I'm pretty sure if you wanted to guess you could guess who it is," Osaka concluded.

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